The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, begins by relating events that happened in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. They are both set in the same town,St. Petersburg, Missouri. This town lies on the banks of the Mississippi River. On this particular river is where most of the novel takes place.

            At the end of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and his friend Tom Sawyer found a robber’s stash of gold. As a result of the finding, Huck gained a lot of money. The bank held it for him in trust. Huck was adopted by Widow Douglas who lived with her sister, Miss Watson. Huck didn’t like the idea of having to go to school and having to stay clean all day. Huck liked to go outside and be adventurous. He would spend all day outside if he could.  

Everything was going well until one day when Huck’s drunken pap came to town and demanded all of Huck’s money. The local judge, Judge Thatcher and the widow tried all they could to get legal custody of Huck. Pap stayed around St. Petersburg for a long time, harassing Huck and doing whatever he could to make Huck’s life miserable. One day, Pap kidnapped Huck and locked him in a cabin. Pap always returned to the cabin drunk and beat Huck. Huck didn’t want to take it anymore. Huck was smart and escaped from his father by faking his own death.

After Huck escaped, he hid on Jackson’s Island. One day, on the island Huck came across Jim, one of Miss Watson’s slaves who ran away. While on the island, the Mississippi River flooded. Huck and Jim saw a raft and a house with a dead man floating past them. They took the raft and the dead man’s money and started down the river. They were intending to go the mouth of the Ohio and proceed up the river to the Free States. From that point on, Huck and Jim became traveling partners, relying on one another for safety and companionship.

One night there was thick fog and Huck and Jim missed their destination and encountered a group of men looking for escaped slaves. Huck told a lie about his father suffering from smallpox and the men gave Huck some money. Huck and Jim continued down the river and the next night a steamboat crashed into the raft. Huck and Jim were separated for a while, but eventually found each other again.

A few days later, Huck and Jim rescued a pair of men who were being pursued by bandits. The men were clearly con artists claiming to be the duke and the dauphin. As the group continued down the river, the duke and the dauphin pulled many scams in small towns. In one town, the duke and the dauphin pretended to be Peter Wilks’s brothers. The real brothers were supposed to come to town to collect each of their inheritances that their father left them when he passed away. Huck knew what the con artists planned to do so he decided to steal Peter Wilks’s money and stash it in Wilks’s coffin. Huck revealed everything to Mary Jane, the eldest Wilks’s sister. The duke and the dauphin escaped when Wilks’s real brothers arrived from England and the money that Huck hid was found.

The duke and the dauphin then sold Jim to a local farmer. Huck went to the house where Jim was and met a woman who called him “Tom”. Huck discovered that the couple that was holding Jim was Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle, Silas and Sally Phelps. The Phelps’ mistook Huck for Tom, who was due to arrive for a visit. Later on, Huck ran into Tom and told Tom to pretend to be his younger brother, Sid.

Tom developed a plan to free Jim. Huck didn’t think that it was a very good plan, but he went along with it anyway in the spirit of adventure. Jim was freed, but in the meantime Tom was shot in the leg. Huck went to go get a doctor and Jim sacrificed his freedom to nurse Tom. Jim ended up back in chains only to have Tom reveal that Jim had been a free man all along. Miss Watson said in her will to free Jim. Miss Watson died months earlier leaving Jim a free man. Tom had planned the entire escape idea as a “wild” game for them to play and had intended to pay Jim for his troubles. Tom’s Aunt Polly then showed up and identified “Tom” and “Sid” as Huck and Tom. Jim then told Huck that the body they found in the floating house was Pap’s. Aunt Sally then offered to adopt Huck, but Huck who said that he had been “sivilized” and couldn’t stand it, announced his plan to set out for the West.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is classified as a “classic” text for many reasons. One of these reasons has to do with its morality. Specifically, it drew special attention to slavery and racism in the South. Twain wanted readers to know and experience what life was like living in the South during the slavery period. He also highlighted the evil that is inherent to slavery by developing Jim as a character deserving of equality. Jim has the same thoughts and feelings as white people. He shouldn’t be treated differently based on his race and the history of slavery. He is just the same as Huck and should be treated the same. I think that he did an excellent job portraying the events that happened in the South. It was a very realistic novel.

It also uses effective language. Throughout the whole novel, Twain writes very factually. He accurately represents southern dialect. For example, Jim’s manner of speech is exactly represented as he says, “Yes; en I’s rich now, come to look at it; I owns mysef, en I’s wuth eight hund’d dollars. I wisht, I had de money, I wouldn’ want no mo’” (47). Twain didn’t want to modernize the language. He wanted to keep it original. Reading this type of language is especially forceful and effective. It suits the purpose of his novel perfectly. If Twain were to change it, I don’t think that it would have the same meaning or message.

The novel also has truthfulness. Twain makes readers believe what is being said. It is very truthful and credible. You can believe that whatever Twain wrote is original and really happened to the characters. It also has universality. Huckleberry Finn deals with a universal theme: friendship. Huck and Tom would do anything to help out their friend Jim. It also deals with slavery and racism in the South. Tom said, “I wonder if uncle Silas is going to hang this nigger. If I was to catch a nigger that was ungrateful enough to run away, I wouldn’t give him up, I’d hang him” (237). This particular quote relates to the novel by showing how whites back then dealt with blacks. This is very truthful to the events that happened during that specific time period in history. During Huck and Jim’s adventure, they got tarred and feathered by whites. This shows just how cruel the white people were to slaves. This novel also has timelessness. After reading this powerful novel, readers will never forget its themes and place in history. The problem of racism is still important today. Also, the theme of friendship is still as pertinent today as it was when this novel was written in 1884, as all readers can identify with the pure and genuine nature of the friendship that develops between Huck and Jim.