book, 3 stars
i gave the book a 3 average because it’s deemed “the greatest american novel.” The sentiment is based on the heroic character of Huck Finn who obstinately rejects the norms of his society to comply with his own individual freedom in action and morals. It deconforms to organized religion, southern economic dependence to slavery, and even familial ties.
the story is symbolically saturated which makes me understand why the novel can be considered a graduate level book, because it has many layers through its imagery. the river itself being a symbol of freedom- both potentially good and bad, and the raft which serves as a common ground for Huck and Jim to be equal humans.
but in my opinion, which is also what i wrote my paper on, is that the second half of the book digresses in interest to complete the initial goal of the first half, and becomes just countless tedious moments of distractions for Huck, and probably the greatest annoyance towards the character Jim. We end up following Huck through his supposedly “adventures” when we fail in responsibility to concern ourselves with Jim- the one whose life is in ultimate jeopardy. Only in little instances do we see Jim’s face peek out from the marshes, and instead mainly see the heroic figures of Huck and Tom in the end.
my paper was on the irony of Twain’s character Tom, who he uses as the ridiculous hero, but i felt was just the obvious version of Huck as a hero. Huck was just like Tom, except he was more subtle in coming up and giving in to the distractions and forgetting the main clear direct objective in saving Jim. Twain lost the initial momentum and idea of heroism in Huck in the beginning, and ultimately turned him into the hero he mocked through Tom Sawyer.
ya…so i didn’t like the novel particularly.