Huckleberry Finn

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade April 2001

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Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is both an exciting novel and a novel that has stirred mush controversy in the United States. Many think that this book is racist, but in actuality, it is one of the best books that has ever been written. He tells it how it really was back then.

The book starts out with a boy named Huck Finn who lives at the Widow Douglas Plantation, and is being watched by Widow Douglas and Miss Watson. Huck is getting taught by society reading, writing, and arithmetic. Huck fears his dad and during the day, he sees things that make him believe his father is back in town. He comes home one day, after giving all his money to Judge Thatcher to invest, and finds his dad waiting for him in his room. Pap is drunk, as usual and beats Huck for having learned to read and write.

Huck continues to get lessons from Widow Douglas's place which angers Pap, so he kidnaps Huck and takes him to his own private cabin. Pap does everything in his power to control Huck. Huck is beaten frequently, so he decides to run away, and comes up with a plan. He finds a canoe in the woods to escape in but he needs a plan to make sure that nobody will look for him. He fakes his death and canoes to a deserted island known as Jackson Island. Huck eventually gets lonely on the island and does some exploring. He finds ashes of a campfire that belongs to Jim, one of Widow Douglas's who was going to be sold but ran away. They live in a cave and find a raft that has floated up on the shore. While on he shore, Huck gets tired of fish so he dresses up as a girl and goes into town to buy some food but is then discovered by some old lady. He finds out that Jim is a suspect in his murder and so he runs to tell Jim and they leave the city on the raft. They go down river and find a steamboat with lots of valuables and Jim finds a body that turns out to be Huck's dad's body, but he doesn't tell Huck.

Jim and Huck's goal is to reach a city named Cairo, where the Mississippi River and the Ohio River meet. When they almost reach their destination, a thick fog separates the two travelers but Huck finally reaches Jim while he is asleep and tells Jim he was dreaming of the incident but Jim later finds out it did happen and becomes angered. They travel down the River a little bit more and Jim starts talking about what he is going to do when he is free, and this makes Huck sick because he doesn't want to be known as an abolitionist and go against society so Huck grabs the canoe and goes to tell someone what he is doing. Huck finds two slave catchers but changes his mind about telling them what is happening. The raft and the canoe get separated with them both one the canoe. It gets hit by a steamship and Jim and Huck separate. Huck goes to a house which is owned by the Grangerfords and they take Huck in and are later killed by Shepardson (a family they are feuding with), and Huck and Jim meet up again, and all that time, Jim had been working on the raft and so they fled. While fleeing though they allow two men to come along who are "scam-artists". They later sell Jim to get money to Tom Sawyers Aunt Sally. He pretends he is Tom Sawyer because he knows so much about him and wants to free Jim. Tom runs into Huck and Huck convinces him to help get Jim free. Their first plan doesn't work, which they made everyone think that Indians were going to attack but Tom gets shot in the leg on accident. They put a guard on Jim so that they can't rescue him. A little later though, Aunt Polly comes and tells the true identities of Tom and Huck but what happens to them and Jim.

Huckleberry Finn is an exciting book that gives good insight into what it was like back then and gives many different conflicts, such as Huck vs. Pap, and Jim vs. Society. This book was controversial but after reading it, you will agree that this book is very good. It showed the hardships and consequences that people had to endure, not only children, such as Huck, but slaves and the problems they had. This book is a good book with a good storyline. This book also showed that we, as Americans today, don't see freedom as something important because we all have it, but back then to many, freedom was like a valuable treasure. Back then you would do anything for freedom.