The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Paperback)
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. From the beginning of the novel, Twain makes it clear that Huck is a boy who comes from the lowest levels of white society. His father is a drunk and a ruffian who disappears for months on end. Huck himself is dirty and frequently homeless. Although the Widow Douglas attempts to "reform" Huck, he resists her attempts and maintains his independent ways. The community has failed to protect him from his father, and though the Widow finally gives Huck some of the schooling and religious training that he had missed, he has not been indoctrinated with social values in the same way a middle-class boy like Tom Sawyer has been. Huck's distance from mainstream society makes him skeptical of the world around him and the ideas it passes on to him. Huckleberry Finn is the narrator of this story, and he starts off by describing his life to the reader. After moving in with the Widow Douglas, who buys him new clothes and begins teaching him the Bible. Huck is uncomfortable with all of these "restrictions" on his life, and soon runs away to avoid being "civilized." Tom Sawyer goes after Huck and convinces him to return to the Widow's house after promising that they will start a band of robbers together. Huck agrees to return, but still complains about having to wear new clothes and eat only when the dinner bell rings, something he was not used to while growing up with his Pap. The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Set in a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing satire on entrenched attitudes, particularly racism.