Monday, March 14, 2011

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Title: The Adventures
of Huckleberry Finn
Author: Mark Twain
Since most of us know the basic idea of Huck Finn, I'll leave a summary out. If you really want one, check out SparkNotes. They have a nice overview of it.

There were two reasons I was not looking forward to my English class this year. One was the famous-(to our school, at least)-ly difficult newspaper project (in which you make a newspaper about a person's life). And the second reason? The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I really had no interest in reading it. And knowing that we would have to take several quizzes and a test, along with writing a paper on it, did not make me look forward to it any more.

Once we started it, however, I actually began to enjoy it. Not so much the random quizzes to make sure we were actually reading and not just SparkNotes-ing. But the book itself proved to be rather good. I would randomly begin laughing out loud as I was reading. I found myself worried about Jim and excited about where Huck would venture to next.

There are only two complaints I had about the book: the dialects and the ending. In case you don't know, Huck Finn was the first book to use dialects. The book also takes place in the South, so almost everyone who talks has a distinct dialect. The worst was Jim. Almost every time Jim spoke, I had to read what he said three times: once just to read, the second to decipher, and the third to put everything together. This made it a lot harder to enjoy because it felt more like normal homework than reading.

The ending was the other thing that really bugged me.
(Spoilers ahead. Highlight at your own risk.)
The entire book was filled with adventures, so I was expecting the book to end with a bang... It didn't. If you've ever read Huck Finn, you probably wondered what the deal was with the ending. It just... ends. In case you haven't read it (remember that you highlighted knowing there were spoilers), basically what happens is Huck says something along the lines of, "Writing a book is a lot of hard work. If I had known that in the first place I wouldn't have started," and then The End. That's it. It just stops. Don't get me wrong. It's a happy ending. I liked what happened. What I don't like is how painfully boring it was compared to the rest of the book. Honestly, I think Mark Twain just got a little tired of Huck and Jim and decided to just... stop. But he couldn't just end it, so he wrote a conclusion chapter. 

Those were just my thoughts. I'd really love to hear others' opinions of the book. Have you read it? Did you have to read it for school? Did you just read it for fun? What did you think of it? How about that ending? I want to know!! So you should tell me. =)

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