The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Overview

About the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or Mark Twain, as he was better known was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri, the sixth child of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens. His father ran a dry goods and grocery store, practiced law and involved himself in local politics after the family's move to Hannibal, Missouri, when Sam was four years old.

Hannibal seems to have been a good place for a boy to grow up. Sam was entranced by the Mississippi River and enjoyed both the barges and the people who traveled on them. When Sam was just eleven his father died and Sam went to work for his brother at the Hannibal Journal first as a printer's apprentice and later a compositor. While still in his teens Sam went on the road as an itinerant printer. In 1857 he conceived a plan to seek his fortune in South America but on the way he met a steamboat captain, Horace Bixby who took him on as a cub riverboat pilot and taught him until he acquired his own license.

This enjoyable style of life, which Twain always spoke of later with special warmth was ended by the Civil War. Twain went west with his brother Orion to prospect in Nevada but in 1862 joined the staff of the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, a paper to which he had already begun submitting his work. Later Twain went to California and submitted "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" to the New York Saturday Press.

By 1871 Twain had published Innocents Abroad and had married Olivia Langdon, the sister of a friend from a socially prominent New York City family. He and his wife moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where they made their family home for thenext 20 years.

Books that he wrote in Hartford confirmed his popular reputation but despite their success Twain found himself in financial difficulty primarily because of his investments in the Paige typesetting business as well as his own publishing company. Eventually Twain was forced to declare bankruptcy.

Twain's last major books were successful commercially but they also reflect his increasing pessimism. His satire becomes at times more biting and mean-spirited than it is humorous. Despite the downturn in Twain's outlook in later life and despite the unevenness of much of his work, he remains one of the major writers of the American nineteenth century, and one who has been enormously influential on subsequent writers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141334844
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/30/2010
Series: Puffin Classics Series
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 480,776
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, Mark Twain is arguably the best-known American author. Most celebrated for his witty and satirical writing, Twain was also very well-known during his lifetime for his oratory and storytelling skills. Twain passed away in April 1910.

Date of Birth:

November 30, 1835

Date of Death:

April 21, 1910

Place of Birth:

Florida, Missouri

Place of Death:

Redding, Connecticut

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
by .
Copyright © 2010 Mark Twain.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Appendix A: Related Mark Twain Texts

  1. “A True Story Reprinted Word for Word as I Heard It,” The Atlantic Monthly (November 1874)
  2. From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
  3. From Life on the Mississippi (1883)
  4. “Jim’s Ghost Story,” excluded manuscript passage from Huckleberry Finn (1876)
  5. Sequel to Huckleberry Finn, from Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894)
  6. Introducing Huckleberry Finn (1895)
  7. From “Chapters from My Autobiography, XIII,” North American Review (March 1907)

Appendix B: Contemporary Representations of Slavery and Race

  1. From “The Negro Out of Politics,” Chicago Tribune (24 April 1877)
  2. Blackface Minstrelsy (1880, 1884)
  3. “Tom Shows” (1882)
  4. From Thomas Nelson Page, “Mars Chan,” Century Magazine (April 1884)
  5. From George Washington Cable, “The Freedman’s Case in Equity,” Century Magazine (January 1885)

Appendix C: Illustrating Huckleberry Finn

  1. E.W. Kemble, Illustration for The Thompson Street Poker Club (1884)
  2. From E.W. Kemble, “Illustrating Huckleberry Finn,” The Colophon (February 1930)
  3. E.W. Kemble, Illustration of African Slavery, Century Magazine (February 1890)
  4. E.W. Kemble, New Illustrations for Huckleberry Finn (1899)

Appendix D: Selling Huckleberry Finn

  1. Sales Prospectus Blurb for Huckleberry Finn (1884)
  2. Sales Prospectus Poster for Huckleberry Finn (1884)
  3. Promotional Flyer for Huck Finn (1885)
  4. “Twins of Genius” Lecture Program Minneapolis-St. Paul (24 January 1885)
  5. Advertisement from Webster & Co. Catalogue Advertising Editions of Huck Finn (1892)

Appendix E: Reception of Huckleberry Finn

  1. Reviews
    1. Athenaeum (27 December 1884)
    2. Brander Matthews, Saturday Review (31 January 1885)
    3. Hartford Courant (20 February 1885)
    4. Life (26 February 1885)
    5. Boston Evening Traveler (5 March 1885)
    6. Daily Evening Bulletin (14 March 1885)
    7. San Francisco Chronicle (15 March 1885)
    8. T.S. Perry, The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (May 1885)
    9. The Atlanta Constitution (26 May 1885)
  2. Coverage of Concord Library’s Banning of Huckleberry Finn
    1. New York Herald (18 March 1885)
    2. Literary World (21 March 1885)
    3. San Francisco Chronicle (29 March 1885)
    4. The Critic (30 May 1885)
    5. Hartford Courant, with Mark Twain’s response (4 April 1885)
  3. Reviews of Twain’s Performance of the Novel Onstage
    1. The Washington Post (25 November 1884)
    2. The Globe (9 December 1884)
    3. The Pittsburgh Dispatch (30 December 1884)
    4. The Cincinnati Enquirer (4 January 1885)
    5. The Minneapolis Daily Tribune (25 January 1885)
    6. Wisconsin State Journal (28 January 1885)
    7. Chicago Daily Tribune (3 February 1885)

Appendix F: Freedom versus Fate

  1. From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
  2. From Life on the Mississippi (1883)
  3. From A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
  4. From “Corn-Pone Opinions” (1901)
  5. From Twain’s Seventieth Birthday Dinner Speech (1905)
  6. From “The Turning Point of My Life,” Harper’s Bazaar (February 1911)

Select Bibliography

What People are Saying About This

Ernest Hemingway

All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.

From the Publisher

"Although he does an expert job with the entire cast, [narrator William] Dufris's delivery of Jim's dialogue is his crowning achievement. . . . Jim's mind and heart come shining through." —-Publishers Weekly Audio Review

T. S. Eliot

...We come to see Huck... as one of the permanent symbolic figures of fiction; not unworthy to tak e a place with Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet, and other great discoveries that man has made about himself.

Lionel Trilling

One can read it at ten and then annually ever after, and each year find that it is as fresh as the year before...

Reading Group Guide

1. Critics have long disagreed about exactly what role Jim plays in Huckleberry Finn. Some have claimed, for example, that his purpose is solely to provide Huck with the opportunity for moral growth, while others have argued that he is a surrogate father figure to Huck. What do you think is Jim's role in the novel?

2. The ending of Huckleberry Finn has been the source of endless critical controveryse. Though no less than T. S. Eliot and Lionel Trilling defended the ending on the grounds that it is structurally coherent ("It is right, " Eliot stated, "that the mood of the book should bring us back to the beginning"), many critics feel that the return of Tom Sawyer and his elaborate scheme for Jim's escape reduces what had been a serious quest for freedom to a silly farce. Bernard de Voto wrote, "In the whole reach of the English novel there is no more aburpt or more abrupt or chilling descent." How does the ending strike you?

3. The Mississippi can be considered a character in its own right in Huckleberry Finn. Discuss the role of the river in the novel.

4. How do humor and satire function in the book?

5. Critic William Manierre argued in a 1964-65 essay that "Huck's 'moral growth' has... been vastly overestimated, " noting for example, that when his conscience begins to give him trouble, he decides he will "do whichever came handiest at the time, " and that while Huck can be seen to achieve a kind of moral grandeur when he tears up the note he's written to Miss Watson, that achievement is underminded by his easy acceptance of Tom Sawyer's scheme in the last ten chapters. Do you agree ordisagree?

6. In "The Greatness of Huckleberry Finn, " Lionel Trilling stated that the style of the book is "not less than definitive in American literature, " and Louis Budd has noted that "today it is standard academic wisdom that Twain's precedent-setting achievement is Huck's language." Discuss the effect of Twain's use of colloquial speech and dialect in the novel.

Foreword

1. Critics have long disagreed about exactly what role Jim plays in Huckleberry Finn. Some have claimed, for example, that his purpose is solely to provide Huck with the opportunity for moral growth, while others have argued that he is a surrogate father figure to Huck. What do you think is Jim's role in the novel?

2. The ending of Huckleberry Finn has been the source of endless critical controveryse. Though no less than T.S. Eliot and Lionel Trilling defended the ending on the grounds that it is structurally coherent ("It is right," Eliot stated, "that the mood of the book should bring us back to the beginning"), many critics feel that the return of Tom Sawyer and his elaborate scheme for Jim's escape reduces what had been a serious quest for freedom to a silly farce. Bernard de Voto wrote, "In the whole reach of the English novel there is no more aburpt or more abrupt or chilling descent." How does the ending strike you?

3. The Mississippi can be considered a character in its own right in Huckleberry Finn. Discuss the role of the river in the novel.

4. How do humor and satire function in the book?

5. Critic William Manierre argued in a 1964-65 essay that "Huck's 'moral growth' has...been vastly overestimated," noting for example, that when his conscience begins to give him trouble, he decides he will "do whichever came handiest at the time," and that while Huck can be seen to achieve a kind of moral grandeur when he tears up the note he's written to Miss Watson, that achievement is underminded by his easy acceptance of Tom Sawyer's scheme in the last ten chapters. Do you agree ordisagree?

6. In "The Greatness of Huckleberry Finn," Lionel Trilling stated that the style of the book is "not less than definitive in American literature," and Louis Budd has noted that "today it is standard academic wisdom that Twain's precedent-setting achievement is Huck's language." Discuss the effect of Twain's use of colloquial speech and dialect in the novel.

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn2 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Huckleberry Finn was once said to be the source of all american literarture. Earnest Hemingway said that and was right. Huck Finn and his friend Jim, a slave, have some amazing and amusing journeys as they travel down the Mississippi River. Recommended for anyone looking for a laugh and a life lesson.
cassala on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good story, although sometimes it gets repetitive and Huck's language is sometimes hard to read.
Joles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is a reason this book is a classic. Twain's tale of Huck Finn leaving his home and traveling with the slave Jim up the Mississippi is endearing. Not only is it telling of the time period, but it also tells the story of a kid and the mischief a young boy can get into.
MissWoodhouse1816 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you haven¿t read the book and want to, then I wouldn¿t read this. However, if you are never going to get through the book and want to sound somewhat informed, then by all means read on!Huck finds himself miserable under the adoptive care of Widow Douglas and her sister. When all signs begin pointing to a return of Huck¿s father, Huck sells his $6000 (see Adventures of Tom Sawyer) to Judge Thatcher for a dollar, which is soon drunk up by Pap who drags Huck away from his ¿soft¿ life. Ever resourceful, Huck arranges the scene of his own murder to escape from Pap¿s beatings- and promptly runs into Big Jim, a runaway slave of Widow Douglas¿.Huck and Big Jim have a mostly pleasant time floating on the river on a raft, until they miss the stop that would allow Jim to escape to freedom. Things go downhill after that as Huck and Jim are joined by a couple of shyster conmen who mistake the runaways for a couple of fools. The four are able to run several successful scams until a particularly daring one goes too far. Jim ends up in captivity on a small plantation, and Huck evades the conmen in order to set out and rescue Jim.At the plantation, Huck finds himself in over his head as the family mistakes him for a visiting relative. Everything seems to turn around though as Huck discovers that the family has mistaken him for none other than Tom Sawyer- until Tom himself shows up. With Tom and Huck under the same roof they turn the house upside down as the boys set up an elaborate plan to set Jim free. I am not a huge Mark Twain fan, and I¿ve tried for years to get through this book. If it wasn¿t for my book club, it would still be sitting on my shelf in the ¿partially read¿ category. All that said I did enjoy the book more than I thought I would. Twain is very gifted at revealing the motives and intentions that drive people¿s lives, and this talent is in full display throughout the book. Personally I feel that it wouldn¿t be such a big deal today if it hadn¿t been banned, but that is just my opinion. Overall, an interesting read.
Aelione on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I always liked Huck more than Tom. Tom always struck me as something of a brat, while I sort of identified with Huck, and his lack of parental security and support. I was rooting for him, and his scrappy can-do ways.
libraryclerk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Took me years to finally get around to reading this book. It was a fun and sad adventure. It told of racial pregudices that are even around today.
SeriousGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Mark Twain titled this Adventures of Huckleberry Finn he wasn't kidding. Huck is a almost orphaned boy living with a widow. Dad is an abusive alcoholic who shows up occasionally to try to steal from Huck. While Huck is grateful to the widow for a roof over his head and food to eat he is of the "thanks, but no thanks" mindset and soon runs away. He would rather be sleeping out under the stars, floating down the Mississippi while trapping small game and fishing than minding his ps and qs and keeping his nose clean in school. Huck is a clever boy and he shows this time and time again (getting away after being kidnapped by his father, faking his own death, dressing like a girl, tricking thieves etc), but his immaturity often catches up to him. Huck's partner is crime is Jim, slave of Miss Watson's. Together they build a raft and travel down the Mississippi getting into all sorts of mayhem. One of the best things about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the descriptions of the people and places Huck and Jim encounter along their journey.
mike_frank on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic... a struggle to get started with but incredibly rewarding. Twain's word play, sarcasm, and general demeanor are invigorating. Can finally check this off the books I lied about reading in high school... ;)
Hamburgerclan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read Huck Finn years ago, when I was a boy, and finally got around to rereading it now that I'm a bit older and wiser. I never really enjoyed it much as a young'un, but now I think it's just great. What more can I say? It's funny, engaging and makes one question the status quo. We put it on our shelf in an attempt to get a nice library of children's books, but I'm keeping it there for my own entertainment.--J.
HeatherSwinford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Huckleberry Finn has been taken in by Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, who intend to teach him religion and proper manners. Huck soon sets off on an adventure to help the widow's slave, Jim, escape up the Mississippi to the free states. Huck tell's his own story, the book is able to tell the painful contradiction of racism and segregation in a "free" and "equal" society.
eejjennings on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found it hard to believe that this book was written in the late 1800s since Twain had such a modern sensibility. He continues to be relevant over 100 years later! One of my all-time favorite authors!
alexandraboxer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a good book about morality and growing up. Throughout the book Huck Finn matures and really grows into a respectable young man. Huck runs into many problems. He has money of his own, but his drunk father wants to take it from him. When he is finally given a safe home, he doesn't feel comfortable because he is so used to not being treated right. After his dad locks him up in their home, he runs away with a slave. Huck constantly questions society and realizes how wrong the mistreatment of Jim is. The story is long, but good. It teaches many lessons and is a great tale of growing up.
minnesotadebbie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my all-time favorite books! Huck's redemption scene - and the fact that he doesn't even know he has saved himself - is the most powerful moment that I know of in American literature. Coming-of-age, travel, friendship, and social commentary: this book gets my nomination for the Great American Novel! Oh - and don;t forget the two greatest rapscallions in American literature: the King and the Duke. PS: Thanks to my long-ago English teachers who first helped me get into this book!
silverdaisy1975 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the backbone books of post Civil War American Literature. Twain writes a wonderful story about the journey of a runaway boy and a slave. He uses regional dialect so it helps to read out loud in parts, otherwise the dialect adds a great layer to the story.This book is really funny! Don't read it becauseit is literature, read it because it is good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books that I have ever read. It was a really good book but don't read it if you are afraid of a few bad words. But if you do take the time to read the book it is very good and you might even get something out of it. There are a few things in the book that could even be considered a life lessen
Charlottes-son More than 1 year ago
One of the Classics and a great read. Don't be afraid of a few bad words. It is a clear slice of life, all dressed up, just as it was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Adamfchms143 More than 1 year ago
This book is very hard to read.With southern accents the sentences are like ‘’How we gwyne git em?’’ Its very hard to understand. I understand why the author did this because it was in older times.So the English wasn’t the greatest.When I read this book every time i got to a wierd scentence I had to sound out every word to figure out what the author was trying to say.The story itself wasn’t bad but I had trouble at some parts trying to read.I didn’t like how this book was written.
Natalie_Carlo More than 1 year ago
It was so exciting and marvelous. I thought it was a new adventure each chapter and it was so adorable to experience Huck's and Jim's friendship evolve and grow. I wanted to just keep reading.
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ConfuzzledShannon More than 1 year ago
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a sequel of sorts.  First came The Adventures of Tom Sawyer which Huckleberry Finn was a character in just as Tom Sawyer was in this one.  In this adventure Huckleberry runs away from his alcoholic father and along the way runs into a slave Jim, who is trying to gain his freedom.   As they stop in towns along the river they always seem to run into trouble. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was more enjoyable to read on my own then it was to read for school.   Huck definitely has a original imagination to get them through all the hijinks they go through. I felt that by the Tom Sawyer showed up the book could and probably should have ended.  Many of the people in the town were pretty gullible to believe Huck, Tom and other characters like the Duke or King.  An Interesting read. Not sure I understand why it is a classic except that is by Mark Twain.  I could see the authors humor throughout the book, which he was known for. 
mgoodrich718 More than 1 year ago
Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain <br /> <br /> 3 Stars <br /> <br /> This is the sequel to Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It starts out were it left off. Huck is kidnapped by his dad who wants his money. His dad is a horrible person and a drunk. Huck meets an escaping slave Jim along the way and they set off in search of the freedom they are both looking for. This of course leads to many amusing adventures. They get into all sorts of things and meet up with a lot of questionable characters on the Mississippi river. Jim gets caught and is being held as a runaway slave. Huck decides that he must go save him even if it means he will go to hell. Arriving at the plantation where Jim is being kept leads to a whole new adventure and the arrival of help to pull off stealing Jim back and setting him free for good.<br /> <br /> This is one of those books that I wish I had read when I was young and was reading adventures like Call of The Wild and the like. I know I would have loved it then. That is the only reason for the 3 stars. It was a good read and amusing but I didn't relate with it as much at this time. The imagination that is involved in these stories is wonderful. I had to laugh at the reasons things were accomplished the way they were so that they would be done right and moral in keeping with stories of great adventurers. Because who could possibly want to do anything the simple way. It did make me long for the days when using that imagination made for the best times ever.<br />
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