Book Review of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
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1. Each year I try to make sure that at least one of the books I read has achieved the status of classic. This years choice was Huckleberry Finn, the timeless (one of the marks of a classic) coming of age story that also fits into the picaresque category in that it is an adventure tale about a hero with a rather shady past who comes from a bad family, lacks traditional values, isnt always honest and sets off on a journey with a sidekick. Thats Huck, all right. Timeless classics like this one earn that distinction for other reasons as well. Not only does Huckleberry Finn reveal something about the historical era in which it was set, but it also passes the test of time because it deals with universal themes and issues that have to do with the complexities, the heartbreak and the joy of being human. Love, and loyalty as well as betrayal and forgiveness are all there in the relationship between Huck and Jim, and the characters they meet on their trip down the Mississippi are each a portrait of some aspect of human nature (not necessarily the most uplifting!) Huckleberry Finn has been accused of being a rascist novel a criticism I find difficult to understand since it seems to me that Twains purpose in writing it was to expose and condemn rather than go along with attitudes about blacks that were so prevalent at the time the novel was written. My only criticism of the novel has to do with the last part when Tom Sawyer appears upon the scene. It seems like from that point on the focus shifts away from Huck and Jim and on to a character who has very little if anything to do with both the story and what it stands for. Somehow it just didnt feel right and I cant help but wonder what Twains purpose was.