I first met the character of Huck Finn in Mark Twain’s novel, Tom Sawyer. Sawyer makes for an entertaining narrator. All humor, little substance. But good fun. Finn, on the other hand, is a narrator with a bit more depth. (Okay a lot more depth.) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a true coming-of-age story. Huck Finn grows in heaps and bounds as a person, as a soul, in this American classic.
The plot focuses on Huck and his relationship with a runaway slave, Jim. Huck had his own (very valid in my opinion) reasons for running away from home. While he is hiding out on “his” island, he discovers that he’s not the only one hiding. Jim, a slave whom he’s had a good amount of contact with in the past, has runaway. He’s hoping to escape into freedom. The two end up running away together (by water mostly–various rafts and canoes, etc); their destinies become intertwined.
The two face more than a few hardships along the way. And face more than a couple of close calls. Most of their adventures escalate once “King” and “Duke” arrive on the scene and join these two. These two con men aren’t likable, rather they’re both despicable characters up to no good, but Huck and Jim can’t seem to shake them. They’re stuck with these two no matter how much they wish otherwise.
I don’t want to go much more into the plot, but I will say that this one was a good read. The characterization of Huck and Jim is great. And the relationship between the two is really intricately and beautifully explored. The villains–King and Duke, Huck’s father, etc.–are characters that are meant to be booed and hissed. Which shows–in some ways–that they’re developed well enough to be thoroughly hated.