Mark Twain’s tale of a boy’s picaresque journey down the Mississippi on a raft conveyed the voice and experience of the American frontier as no other work has done before. When Huck escapes from his drunken father and the ‘sivilizing’ Widow Douglas with the runaway slave Jim, he embarks on a series of adventures that draw him to feuding families and the trickery of the unscrupulous ‘Duke’ and ‘Daupin’. Beneath the exploits, however, are more serious undercurrents — of slavery, adult control and, above all, of Huck’s struggle between his instinctive goodness and the corrupt values of society, which threaten his deep and enduring frienship with Jim. All modern American literature comes from… ...
September 3, 2020