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CHAPTERS I-VII

Essay 1. "The adventures of Huckleberry Finn” – about children, but not only for children

"The adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is a continuation of "The adventures of Tom Sawyer”. But these two books differ greatly. Actually they differ as much as the main characters do. "Tom Sawyer” is a boy’s book, funny and entertaining. "Huck Finn” is a more mature work, the boy being more serious as well. The letter is the book for people with the inquisitive mind.

In "The adventures of Huckleberry Finn” we can single out various themes the author touches upon, among which:

·        bringing up a child;

·        friendship;

·        children deprived of childhood;

·        child abuse;

·        social injustices;

·        loneliness;

·        freedom, etc.

I would like to concentrate on the third issue, that is "lost childhood”. Huck appears before his reader as a boy who was denied entrance into the world of childhood. We can easily conclude he was deprived of childhood judging by his deeds and words. For example, he appears to be very serious and precautious. He sleeps with a rifle in order to be able to defend himself. Is such a childhood considered to be normal?!

Usually children have a vivid imagination. But Huck is unlike them in this respect. He is mature, courageous and able to take care of himself. That’s because he had to become such a person. He was simply forced to. When nobody provides for your living, you have to do it yourself. Huckleberry is a grown-up child. And that’s much better than a childish grown-up.

Speaking about the theme of friendship I can say that Tom and Huck compliment each other. That’s what their friendship is based upon. Tom values Huck’s independent spirit and Huck treasures Tom’s recklessness and readiness for adventure, Huck leads a life Tom wants to have: he depends on nothing and nobody. And Tom possesses what Huck lacks, that is light-mindedness and recklessness. Huck wants his life to be simpler and more enjoyable.

In a nutshell, even the beginning of the novel hints at the deeper thoughts and ideas for the readers to reveal.

(by Asya)

Essay 2. Thematic outline of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" 

A story is a tangle of themes and each person can unravel it in a different way. ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ is presented in such a way that each theme facilitates the explication of the other. As I see it, the themes of lost childhood and family upbringing are the most vital here. The book handles the story of a boy who is deprived of a normal family life and the parents who could be his life guards and guides.

Another thing that is raised in the book is the futility of the efforts, i.e. impossibility to change people. In other words, the theme reveals itself in the more general idea of failures of all fundamental social changes. Huck’s father can’t be convinced to follow a normal way of life. Huck himself turns back to his original habits and pastime – it is clear evidence you cannot alter the things that define the nature of people, otherwise they would be different characters.

The story of Huckleberry Finn touches upon the fundamental themes of friendship, loneliness and freedom. We can’t probably find a piece of narration that wouldn’t deal with these topics. The three themes are closely intertwined in the plot. Being abandoned by the only parent who is a complete drunkard, Huck senses freedom like no one can do it. He can’t appreciate social ties because he has no such experience. That is why he is highly vulnerable and tends to seek support in his friends. But at the same time his loneliness is the feature that directs the line of the character’s inner development. Huck’s detachment and foreignness in society makes him unique in his desire to live a full life.

Another theme that is reflected in the novel is social inequality. The peculiarity of the idea centers not on the material possessions distributed unevenly, but on the sphere of values and principles. Adopted by the kind-hearted Widow Douglas, Huck Finn desperately resists respectability. He can't fall into the habits of going to school regularly, of eating as all noble people do, of reading the Bible every evening and saying his prayers before dinner. It never comes to his mind that these rules are of prime importance to any person. He has a good understanding of what is essential for existence and what is a pure luxury. Slavery represents here another aspect of social inequality. Afraid of being sold, Jim runs away and meets Huck on Jackson's Island. Jim displays appreciable respect to the boy and shows him that he is a personality despite the fact he’s owned by somebody.

Within the story Mark Twain managed to engage the reader’s attention to the most essential and everlasting problems and truths of all times. Here is his manifestation of mastership and great concern in the matters of society and the place of a single individual in it.

(by MissJane) 


Essay 3.

There are several themes that the author described in his story. First of all the problem of father and a child. Huck had a very strange relationships with his father. Huck’s father didn't want his son to study and always kept his son near to him. Huck was afraid of his father. His conditions of life, bad behavior of his father made him tired of it. But why didn't Huck’s father give him a permission to go to school. The one explanation of this decisions that Huck’s father was afraid of that fact that his son could be more intelligent than he. We don't know what kind of a person his father is, what kind of character he has but usually people don't like somebody who is clever than they are.  He lost everything what he had in life including his wife.  May be he doesn't want to loose his son, he want him to feel father's power. 

Secondly, the author wrote about the realism through child's eyes. Huck’s realism makes the reader believe that it is not a simple boy. His strong wish to find the answers to every question. His view point to life is usual for an adult. Moreover, Huck is not afraid of tragedies; he is a realist and may be a pessimist in some way because he is always ready to have problems.

A friendship – this is the third problem in this roman. The relationship between Huck and Tom is an interesting one. Huck and Tom are two different persons. Tom is more romantic than Huck. Huck is more realistic and sees things with all it pluses and minuses, searching for adventures and Tom lives in the world of fantasy and imagination. Tom always imagined things and Huck always tried to find the explanations. He always asks questions. To my mind the only one thing that connects Huck and Tom is readiness for adventures. But these adventures are different for every of them. Tom likes to imagine it, to imagine situations that wont ever repeat in the real world. And Huck according to his realism wants to have real adventures. So, they both dominate in their wish to have a good adventure.

(by Megastarosta)

 




Essay 4. Lost Childhood of Huck Finn

           Mark Twain’s works are very problematic and thought-provoking. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are not an exception. In first seven chapters many problems are raised. They are friendship, loneliness, freedom, lost childhood, child abuse, social inequality and reality, social and generational gaps, family up-bringing, impossibility to change people in particular and impossibility of social change in general.

            Let’s discuss the problems connected with lost childhood of Huckleberry Finn. While reading the first chapters of the book I see that Huck seems to be older than he is, but still he is a little boy whose world is full of adventure stories he has read before. It’s said that Tom Sawyer has imagination, while Huckleberry has vision. This means that Tom can differentiate the real world and the world of fiction. On the other hand Huck doesn’t make any difference between them. This is a sign of lost childhood, because he has to see real life instead of a romantic fiction.

            Things that are quite normal for little boys seem silly for Finn. He criticizes the ideas connected with the gang of robbers, though he actually should fell into this imaginary world. He had a hard life that made him cynical, that’s why he was denied entrance into the world of childhood. Huckleberry Finn sharply feels the border-line between the imaginary world and real life, so he protests from falling into the world of fiction.

            Some other problems connected with the childhood of Huck are child abuse, social reality and generation gap. Huckleberry Finn needs to escape. This finds reflection in Huck’s relationships with his father. Pap has parent instinct, but he actually dislikes many things connected with his son. Pap is opposed to education, because he regards Huck’s ability to read and write as a betrayal. It’s natural view on things for many uneducated or egoistic people. Escape is the only way for Huck to get freedom (one more mentioned problem). When Huck was with Widow Douglas he was in mental jail; when he was with his father he was in physical jail. When he at last escapes to the Jackson’s Island he becomes absolutely free.

            So Huckleberry Finn is an adult in a body of a little boy. He lost his childhood in the world of abuse and bad up-bringing.

(by Seagull)
 

Essay 5.

What comes to one’s mind while reading Mark Twain’s Huck Finn is that this is a book for children full of typical adventures and written from the first person, that is showing us the world of Huck throughout his own eyes. Actually the novel is so vast, that a dozen of equally important topics can be singled out there. Though it may seem that the main topic is only one, here we notice several essential issues – the theme of childhood, the world of children’s imagination and friendship. These are not the only themes in the book, one more important issue there is the status of black people in that period of the USA history. To some extent this theme is expressed by Negro Jim, who becomes Huck’s friend. 

There is a viewpoint, which says that racism and slavery plays a most significant role in the novel. Twain demonstrates the relationships of Huck with Jim, which in its turn leads to another theme – intellectual and moral education. Huck really disapproves of what he’s been taught, and his path of upbringing and education lies through his own experience. When he is free from the society rules travelling with Jim, he develops his own system of moral laws, which is evidently much better than the one that was proposed by his social surroundings.

At the same time Twain disapproves of this civilized society together with Huck pointing out the most hideous and ambiguous things, which exist in it. Selfishness, cowardice and immoral behavior including biased attitude to Negroes – this is what the author distrust to, thus making his character an outcast and a runaway.

All in all, themes of the book are greatly profound, one can find dozens of other smaller ones, but these are the topics which the author was the most zealous about while writing his book.  

(by 8davids8) 

Essay 6.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a great book.  Huckleberry Finn is written in the first person with Huck narrating. The narrator, Huck Finn, is the protagonist and not simply the observer. In this story we can see life through the point of view of child. We can see the world exactly through Huck’s eyes. And Twain uses Huck’s character as a narrator to voice all his own ideas about society. All Twain’s characters are full of different feelings and emotions.

It is important to mention that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is full of different themes for discussion. These are freedom, a social gap, lowliness, friendship, social inequality, slavery, generation gap, lost childhood, social reality of that time, impossibility to change people and etc.

For example the concept of wealth or lack money is threaded throughout the novel.  We can see social inequality between poor and rich. In the novel we can see how Huck demonstrates a relaxed attitude towards wealth, and because he has so much of it, he does not view money as a necessity, but rather as a luxury. Huck's views regarding wealth clearly contrast with Jim's. For Jim, who is on a quest to buy his family out of slavery, money is equivalent to freedom. In addition, wealth would allow him to raise his status in society. Thus, Jim is on a constant quest for wealth, whereas Huck remains indifferent. 

The theme of slavery is perhaps the most well known aspect of this novel. In this book Twain uses Jim, a main character and a slave, just to demonstrate the humanity of slaves. Jim shows the complicated human emotions and struggles with the difficult moments of his life. But in spite of all difficulties Huck regards him not as a slave but as a person. 

 (By Tanya)
 

Essay 7.

"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain is not just a book for children. It's a complicated and rather philosophical narration that tells us a story of a small boy and that makes us look at the world through his oun eyes. The book deals with a number of themes, which can be subdivided into two big categories – the themes based on social and personal conflicts.

Among social conflicts one can single out:

  • Social gap between the rich and the poor;

  • educational gap – the difference in level of education between Tom and Huck, Huck and his father is quite obvious;

  • the problem of child abuse, the situation where child's rights are completely violated and children find themselves unprotected before adults;

  • the conflict between a person and society;

  • the problem of family up-bringing that is closely connected with the previous theme;

  • generation gap and grown-up's inability to understand children's needs and desires;

  • the problem of slavery and black people in US.

Speaking about personal conflicts one can't but mention the following ones:

  • the problems of lost childhood;

  • loneliness;

  • finding one's place in life;

  • understanding one's real self;

  • contradictions between reality and one's imagination;

  • the problem of one's freedom.

Some of these themes can be in the focus of narration, some of them can be called "additional ones”. It's obvious that one of the central problems is the theme of lost childhood . Huck can't be satisfied with boy's game – he is too practical, too serious, too sensible, too prosaic to share their light-minded life perception. He says: "we only just pretended”, "this staff was just one of Tom Sayer's lies”, "But I couldn't see no profit in it” and these words prove that imagination that is typical of all other children is uncharacteristic of Huck. While other boys are able to live in their made-up world, Huck sees the border between fantasy and reality. He wants real life to be full of all the wonders that appear in tales and when he comprehends that it's not so, he becomes disappointed. Huck understands that his imagination can't change the reality and it makes him reject these useless fantasy. "It's just lies” - he says, irritated by his own inability to accept this imaginary world.

Another important problem – the conflict between a persona and the society he lives in. Huck's desire to escape from responsibilities and regulation is closely connected with his inability to accept the society he lives in. He wants not just to be free, he wants to get rid of the restrictions that are imposed on him by other people. That's why he escapes – he understands that he hasn't got enough strength and power to fight the world he disapproves of.

So, these are just some of the themes the book deals with. But I'm sure that each of us will be able to find some more conflicts and problems the author wanted to show. From this point of view "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is an inexhaustible source of thought-provoking ideas.

(by Rina)


Essay 8.

Adopted by the kind-hearted Widow Douglas, Huck Finn desperately resists respectability. He can’t fall into the habits of praying before going to bed, eating at the table. It is a great relief to him to join Tom Sawyer at night. Tom is organizing "a band of robbers” and at first Huck is nearly ruled out because he has no parents to be killed in case he reveals a secret. Being deprived of a normal childhood, Huck finds himself unable to share Tom’s vision of the fantasy world. Instead of a parcel of Spanish merchants and rich people with elephants, camels loaded with diamonds promised by Tom, he sees nothing but a Sunday-school picnic and only a primer-class. He takes oriental tales for granted but after experimenting with an oil lamp he comes to a conclusion that all that stuff was only one of Tom Sawyer’s lies. Before being taken away by Pap who beats him and forbids going to school, Huck discovers that he is going to get all Huck’s money. To avoid his father’s abuse and being "civilized” by Widow Douglas, Huck escapes to Jackson’s Island.

But in the first chapters the author mainly focuses on Huck’s character. I suppose it is typical of most children to have vivid imagination, to make up a fantasy world of their own. But Huck is not a child of that kind. He seems to be much older than he is. He demonstrates a very objective and realistic vision of life. He is not interested in pretending to live in an imaginary world. He always clearly sees the border line between make-believe and the world of reality. And this is the main feature that distinguishes him from all the other children.

The main feature that he values in his friends is the independent spirit. He is a child too but it seems that he simply does not fit in the world of children. He is too mature for his age, he always thinks before acting. He is never reckless. But at the same time the feeling of freedom that Tom dictates to his mates is so close to Huck that he slowly becomes a real member of the band. He is still very careful but to my mind sometimes Huck Finn wants to become the same child as Tom.

(By Luck)

 

Essay 9.

Early wisdom or lost childhood?
Huck was an orphan, adopted by the kind-hearted Widow Douglas, but he can't fall into the habits of this society. He tried to get accustomed to all these silly rules; he continued studying and "socialization”. He behaved as he was expected to. We may say that he just drifted.
The evidence of his drifting is also his joining Ton Sawyer’s band. Tom is organizing "a band of robbers", and at first Huck is nearly ruled out because he had no relatives, and they can’t kill them if Huck betrayed the band. But finally they decided just to kill Widow Douglas, if something happened. He we see that when Huck meets something new he accepts it, no matter whether it is necessary for him or not.
Tom and Huck are of the same age but not of the same type. We may say that Tom is just a usual boy, a romantic person, full of dreams. He has relatives and is so-to-say socialized. He reads, plays, imagines, dreams.
Huck was interested in Tom’s ideas, because at first he thought that Tom told the truth. But then he realized that Tom just had lively imagination. He tried to check his words, but unsuccessfully. Instead of elephants and camels promised by Tom, he sees nothing but normally children. And all the exploration of Tom’s seemed unbelievable, but nevertheless he tried to believe and didn’t resist him, he told nothing. Finally, he came to the conclusion that life is absolutely different from what was said by Tom and what was written in the books. Huck is a different type with no childish imagination at all. I think it is so, because he is far more experienced. But he doesn’t grow angry, he just lives. Huck is far from judging and from cruelty, he sees life as it is and doesn’t assert it. He could live alone, with Widow Douglas, with boys of his age, with his father. He changed his behavior due to circumstances.
In fact, Huck wasn’t satisfied with his life both with Widow Douglas and his father. He came to the idea that he may be lucky only if he were free from everything. He wanted this independence. But I think that the only one who threatened his freedom was his father. So he escaped. I think that in Huck’s case this escape was the only way out. Of course he wanted to escape earlier before his father tried to kill him, but after this episode it was the necessity to do it and Huck behaved as a brave and smart person.
Huck’s way of narration lacks assessment and judging, it is bright and colorful but at the same time it is objective. His way of narration is the same as his way of living; it is drifting from one event to another. And that is why we have an opportunity to see the life of America without prejudices and embellishing, to make our own conclusions.
(by Ayayulia)

Essay 10.
 


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