The story of Huckleberry Finn was placed in the 1830’s and was wrapped around the thought of slavery and Freedom. Mark Twain began writing the story of Huckleberry Finn in the year 1880 but as times got harder in the battle of slavery in the south, Twain stopped working on his story for another 2 years. After finishing two other works of literature, Mark Twain once again picked up the story of Huck Finn to complete their adventure. Character List: Huckleberry Finn – The main character of this story, Huck Finn goes on adventure with his friend Jim and Tom Sawyer.
Along the way he is put up against obstacles that, for the most part, make him consider the foundation of the logic that society has. Huck Finn’s Father – Huck’s Father is a constant drunk. He is abusive and seeks to control Huck’s fortune. Tom Sawyer – Tom Sawyer is the same age as Huck Finn and his best friend. He is a natural born conman who is able to persuade almost anyone to do anything that he wants to. Jim – An African American who starts out as the slave of Miss Watson and later becomes Huck’s travelling companion down the river.
Jim at first glance does not seem like the smartest character in the story but while on the island Jim shows a hidden “intellectual” side with the natural world around him. Widow Douglas – Widow Douglas is the guardian of Huck Finn in the beginning of the story. She attempts to “civilize” Huck but he finds the rules too binding for his lifestyle. So as a result he fakes his death and travels upstream to avoid both Widow Douglas and his father. Judge Thatcher – The Judge who issued both Huck and Tom their share of the money and tries to protect Huck from his Father.
In the end she is replaced by another judge who ends up allowing custody of Huck and his money to his father. Themes and Motifs: The theme of this story is based on the fact that racism was still an issue in the United States, even after the Emancipation proclamation. With the story of Huckleberry Finn set a few years before Mark Twain’s Time and portraying the facts of his time, Twain was able to produce a story that showed how blacks were still being downed upon in the Southern States.
Another theme of this story is that of the hypocrisy of the United States earlier society in a way that defies logic and reasoning. An example of this is evident in the beginning of the story when the judge gives Huck’s father the right of custody to his son, Huck, as well as his fortune in money. This resembles that of the slave days where huck –portrayed as a black slave in this example- is still under the mercy of his father –portrayed as the white man in society- Literary Elements:
One of the major literary elements in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn would be the conflict of the individual (Huck Finn) versus society. Huck Finn is in a constant battle with the people around him when they try to civilize him. Also, the story is told in a more humorous tone which is another literary element that is observable in this novel. Quotes: “What’s the use you learning to do right, when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same? ” (Pg. 91) “
The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is–a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it is beneath pitifulness. ” (Pg. 146) “But I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before. ” (pg. 293) Bibliography: Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Classic Reissue. New York: Bantam Dell, 2003.