The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Author: Mark Twain
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Slavery, Underground Railroad, Abolition, Running Away, African American, Friends and Friendship, Prejudice and Tolerance Experiences
Mark Twain's classic novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, tells the story of a teenage misfit who finds himself floating on a raft down the Mississippi River with an escaping slave, Jim. In the course of their perilous journey, Huck and Jim meet adventure, danger, and a cast of characters who are sometimes menacing and often hilarious.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn offers both brilliant humor and tragedy as Huck and Jim explore moral dilemmas of slavery and freedom. Huck, the narrator, is shrewd, ingenious, and literal — he reports on everything he sees, which allows the listener to experience the hypocrisy of "sivilization."
Huck Finn is a young, naive white boy fleeing from his drunken, dangerous Pa. He is a homeless rebel who loves freedom more than respectability. He isn't above lying and stealing, but he faces a battle with his conscience when it comes to Jim, a runaway slave who longs to be reunited with his family. Jim is trying to escape to a free state in the North while his owner wants to sell him to a slave trader downriver. Huck knows that helping Jim will bring trouble, but can he turn in a man who only wants to be free?
Flung together by circumstance, they journey down the Mississippi together on a log raft, each in search of his own definition of freedom. Their daring adventures along the way provide both entertainment and a satirical look at the moral values of the Deep South of the 1800s.
Mark Twain defined classic as "a book which people praise and don't read"; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a happy exception to his own rule. Twain's mastery of dialect, coupled with his famous wit, has made Huckleberry Finn one of the most loved and distinctly American classics ever written. In addition to entertaining readers for generations, it has defined the first-person novel in America, and continues to demand study, inspire reverence, and stir controversy.
You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly — Tom's Aunt Polly, she is — and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.
Mark Twain was the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, born in Florida, Missouri on Nov. 30, 1835, died April. 21, 1910, who achieved worldwide fame during his lifetime as an author, lecturer, satirist, and humorist.