The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

The Adventures of

Huckleberry Finn

By Mark Twain

1. The Author and

His Times

Mark Twain, the pen name of Samuel

Clemens, was born in Florida, Missouri in 1835. When he was four,
his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, the setting for many of his books.

His father died when he was 12. After his father died, he went to
work as a printer’s apprentice and eventually as a printer in Missouri,

St. Louis, and New York often writing a few works himself for periodicals.

He worked as a printer and a reporter
selling much of his work to newspapers. He continually moved from
town to town. In 1857, he decided to move to South America to make
a fortune there. He boarded a riverboat and headed for New Orleans
where he would arrange the rest of his trip. However, he never made
it past New Orleans and never into South America. He begged the riverboat
to teach him how to pilot the riverboat. The riverboat pilot agreed
to teach him for $500.

Mark Twain went west during the
civil war and established himself as a writer during this time. He
wrote humorous stories about his experiences which lead to a job as a newspaper
reporter in 1862. The following year he began signing his work "Mark

Twain," a riverboat term meaning two fathoms deep.

Mark Twain went to Hawaii in 1866.

This trip was the beginning of his career as a travel correspondent.

The next year he went to Europe and wrote a successful book there titled,

The Innocent Abroad. In 1876, he published The Adventures of Tom

Sawyer. This book was such a success that he decided immediately
to write a sequel. The sequel, which became much more complex than
the original was published seven years later in 1883 and titled, The Adventures
of Huckleberry Finn. After Huckleberry Finn, Twain wrote nearly a
dozen more books but none were as successful.

By 1939, Twain had lost all of his
money investing in various schemes and inventions, almost all of which
were failures. After this, he went on a world lecture tour and was
able to pay his debts by 1896. While on the tour, one of his daughters
died. His wife later in 1904. In 1909 his daughter died leaving
him unhappy.

2. Form, Structure,
and Plot

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
consists of 43 chapters and is told in the first person with Huck Finn
telling the story. The book divides into three sections. The
first sections has Huck living his Miss Watson and her sister in civilization.

During the second section, Huck travels down the river with Jim.

In the last section, Huck returns to civilization and lives with Tom in

Uncle Silas’ farm. An organizational object in the book is the river
which serves as a timeline for the book.

The first section introduces Huck
and his current life living with Miss Watson and Later with his father.

This section ends were Huck fakes his death and flees to Jackson Island.

In the second section, Huck meets

Jim at the island and starts down the river when they find out that Jim
is being searched for. Huck runs from civilization and Jim runs from
slavery. This section ends when both Jim and Huck make it to Uncle

Silas’ farm.

The third sections takes place at
the farm and continues to the end of the book.

Although the book divides itself
into three sections, it does not divide itself to neatly into rising action,
climax and conclusion since the book consists of several adventures with
its own rising action, climax, and conclusion. It is difficult to
label a single point as the climax.

The book clearly starts with the
exposition where Huck introduced himself as a character from Tom Sawyer
and the son of a town drunk. He lived with Widow Douglas and her
sister, Miss Watson. However, Huck did not like the civilized life
and would rather live an easy going life. Huck’s father finds out
that Huck has some money and kidnaps him into a shack by the river.

Pap beats Huck and Huck decides that he must escape. Huck fakes his
death and flees to Jackson Island. On the island, he meets Jim, Miss

Watson’s runaway slave. This is the rising action.

When the find that there are men
on the island searching for Jim, they decide to travel down the Mississippi
river and up the Ohio river into the free states. On the river, they
live an easy life as they travel during the night and hide during the day.

Traveling down the river, the have many adventures, but they miss the turnoff
into the Ohio