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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by The Ovi Team
2017-02-18 10:59:52
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February 18th 1885, Mark Twain publishes his famous--and famously controversial--novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. At the book's heart is the journey of Huck and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, down the Mississippi River on a raft. Jim runs away because he is about to be sold and separated from his wife and children, and Huck goes with him to help him get to Ohio and freedom. Huck narrates the story in his distinctive voice, offering colourful descriptions of the people and places they encounter along the way. The most striking part of the book is its satirical look at racism, religion and other social attitudes of the time. While Jim is strong, brave, generous and wise, many of the white characters are portrayed as violent, stupid or simply selfish, and the naive Huck ends up questioning the hypocritical, unjust nature of society in general.

 

 

Even in 1885, two decades after the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn landed with a splash. A month after its publication, a Concord, Massachusetts, library banned the book, calling its subject matter "tawdry" and its narrative voice "coarse" and "ignorant." Other libraries followed suit, beginning a controversy that continued long after Twain's death in 1910. In the1950s, the book came under fire from African-American groups for being racist in its portrayal of black characters, despite the fact that it was seen by many as a strong criticism of racism and slavery. As recently as 1998, an Arizona parent sued her school district, claiming that making Twain's novel required high school reading made already existing racial tensions even worse.

Aside from its controversial nature and its continuing popularity with young readers, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been hailed by many serious literary critics as a masterpiece. No less a judge than Ernest Hemingway famously declared that the book marked the beginning of American literature: "There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since."



   
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Emanuel Paparella2013-02-18 14:10:32
Indeed, some truths have always been found inconvenient.

When confronted with those the clever by hals solution is to attack the messanger for the unwelcome message via ad hominem arguments, or, even worse, attempt to turn the table around and accuse the critic of the very thing (such as racism)he is exposing to the light of reason.


Leah Sellers2013-02-20 06:06:56
Hurray ! Ovi Team !
I Love Mark Twain, His Intelligent Humor, and his Works.
When my Family moved from Houston to Live on a small 100 acre ranch in the bluebonnet country of Texas, one of the first things my sisters and I did our first summer there was to spend all day building a Huckleberry Finn Raft and set it out on the river tributary of New Year's Creek which ran through the back of our property.
Our parents and some of our relatives drove their trucks and cars to the Creek with a tumbler of homemade lemonade to toast our Raft Launching.
My sisters and I stepped proudly upon our handmade Raft with our lemonade glasses in hand, and made ready to gather our lumber-plank paddles and begin our journey down (or up) New Year's Creek.
Unfortunately, not knowing any better, my sisters and I had built our Raft Craft with new green wood. Thusly, before we traveled more than a few feet away from the creek's bank, our Raft began to sink.
My sisters and I all looked at one another at first in dismay, and then began laughing out loud. Then everyone who had come to celebrate our launch began to laugh with us.
Raising our lemonade glasses high, we waded toward one another and clicked our four glasses together and declared that, "We're going down with our ship. Just like all good Captains do. Huckleberry would do it, and so will we."
One of our Uncles declared, "I'll drink to that." And everyone else along the bank continued to laugh and crack jokes as my sisters and I kept our bare feet upon the wooden planks of our beloved Raft, until we could no longer stand upon it, but had to begin to swim with our glasses of lemonade safely back to shore.
Thanks for a wonderful childhood memory Huck, and Mr. Twain !


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