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Why I Despise The Book: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Ella Lipton | September 3, 2022


The book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'' was a complete disappointment to me. I would not recommend this book to anyone. I had high hopes for the book as it is a “timeless classic loved by many,” but in my opinion, this book does not deserve that title. Although it is important to see into the lives of people that lived during this time, it was not amusing or enjoyable. Just by the way the author wrote the book you could see the way he perceived women and black people. Twain states that the book is a satirical exposé of slavery, but even so it was still horrible.With context you understand that Twain is indeed against racism, but without that context you just see it as it is: a book written by a misogynistic racist. We can still learn about this time without having to read this horrible book. The only way in which I relate to this book is by seeing the lengths in which strangers will go to help one another. In the book, countless strangers Huck came across helped him on his adventure whether it be giving him directions or taking him in as their own son, as the Grangerfords did. This book reminded me of “Le Petit Prince,” a book I read in French class. Although extremely different, in some respects, Huckleberry Finn reminded me of this book because, at times, it was difficult for me to understand or interpret what the author was trying to say because of the way the book was written. Now, Le Petit Prince is, of course, in French, which made it difficult to read, but, most times when Mark Twain has a black person speaking in the book or someone uneducated, he wrote their speech in broken English, which in turn, made it difficult to read. Twain also used old references and phrases that are not commonly used in the twenty-first century which can be confusing. Most times, I had to read the sentence, paragraph, sometimes page, multiple times to truly understand what was going on, what the author was referring to, or what the true meaning behind the text was. The n-word that was used many times in this book provoked a significant response from me, especially with everything that has come to my attention in the past couple years; for example, Black Lives Matter and the numerous killings of innocent black people around the globe due to many reasons, but mostly, racism and ignorance. It truly distrubed me how many times this word was used in this book. The publisher could have also kept the word in the book with a disclaimer and history behind the word and why it isn’t politically correct for non-black people to say, even in an educational situation. In an analytical sense, the most thematically significant and powerful part of the text was towards the end of the book. After everything Jim and Huck have been through together on their adventure, Huck still significantly understands the importance of helping Jim escape to freedom and aims to help him in any way he possibly can. At the very end of the book, not just Huck, but Tom and his family, many of the farmers in the town, and Jim’s former owner, all agreed that Tom should be set free. Although they don’t believe in the abolition of slavery yet, it is a step in the right direction as a very white town in the south is actually paying attention, acknowledging, and rewarding the heroic acts of Jim as a black man in this time which makes this part of the book so significant and powerful as they could have ignored Jim’s valiant acts and kept him in slavery, or worse, killed him for escaping. 




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