Hailed as a great American novel, the book describes the adventures of Huck Finn and a runaway slave Jim, down the Mississippi river. The series of escapades and situations and the journey down the river is truly a voyage. Mark Twain brilliantly etches the contemporary American society, he also captures the comedy, terror, resilience and spontaneity of boyhood.
Samuel L Clemens, known as Mark Twain, was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida. Mark Twain, the greatest humorist in American literature, wrote novels, travel narratives, short stories and essays.
After his father's death in 1847, Twain took up a job as a printer. He also worked as a steamboat pilot, a gold prospector, a journalist and a lecturer.
He published over 30 works of literature including the timeless The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
His book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn mirrors some of Twain's childhood memories as he grew up in Hannibal, a village on the Mississipi river. 'Huckleberry' is a 19th century slang for a person of no importance. The character of Huck is based on Twain's childhood acquaintance Tom Blankenship who was the son of a poor drunken father similar to Pap Finn. As the narrator of the story, Huck's language is realistic.
The various colours of life are detailed in a variety of dialects that bring to life the other characters in the novel. Probably because of the use of different dialects and also because it deals with the subject of slavery and freedom in more senses than one, Huckleberry Finn has often been described as one of the greatest works in American literature.