In the book Huck Finn, Mark Twain not only writes about the adventures of a
young boy, he depicts the struggle that people had to go through in that time period.
That is just one of the reasons why some people consider Mark Twain to be the
greatest American author of all time.
As I was reading the book Huck Finn I started to agree more with what
Mencken had to say "Put him beside Emerson, or Whitman, or Hawthorne, or even
Poe; he was palpably the superior of all of them". I could really relate to lots of the
ideas and emotions that sprang into Tom and Huck's heads at the time. In Huck Finn ,
Tom gets a group of boys together to form a little club. When I was younger I would do
the same thing with friends of mine. We would act out our fantasies just like Tom and
Huck did in the story. All of Huck's life he was able to live it the way that he wanted,
until he had to move in with Miss Watson. But as you read you find out that every
minute he is away from her he is up to his old tricks again. From going out to having a
smoke with Tom, or messing up his hair so he could feel at home. You can see that he
is still a little boy inside who isn't ready to grow up.
Tom Sawyer is one of those type of friends that everybody has, crazy enough to
get everybody's attention but smart enough to know when to stop. I read some of the
things that Tom had done in the book and some of the lies he would tell and I thought
"man he is crazy for doing that" but as I thought about it more it seems reasonable to a
kid at that age and why wouldnt he act the way he did ?
Mark Twain takes a big step to the side when he writes about one of Miss
Watsons slaves. Jim is a strong black slave in about his mid-twenties. As you read about
Jim and see what he's had to go through you can start to understand that his actions are
very much like what slaves in that time really did. Jim overhears a conversations
between Miss Watson and a slave trader. With the thought of being traded down south
Jim makes a run for it and escapes from Miss Watsons house. You can even get a feel
for how some of the slaves spoke back then because when Twain has Jim speak in the
story, Twain actually spells words how they were said.
In my opinion Pap is another step to the side. Pap is Huck's old man in the story
and he is basically a drunken fool who's only thrill in life is to drink. Pap tries to take
back his son in the story, but it is clear to everybody why. Pap's only reason to get
Huck back in his possession is so he can spend all of Huck's money and make Huck do
all of his work. When you read about Pap in the story Twain goes into such great detail
explaining him that you can almost get a picture of him in your head.
I don't exactly agree that Mark Twain is the Greatest American Author but I do
agree that he is one of the best that there has been and probably will be. He can depict
the realities in all of our lives with just a few common folk characters. There is a part of
every one of his characters in all of us whether its from foolish old Pap to worried Jim.