Huck Finn Literary Analysis

1089 Words5 Pages
Portia Townsend
Professor Victor Thompson
English 242
November 18, 2014

The Unfinished Ending to Huckleberry Finn

It has been an ongoing debate that has been surrounding The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for many years. Many writers consider Huckleberry Finn as one of the Great American Masterpieces. The world is completely captivated by the boyhood adventures of young Huck and Jim the slave. Readers seemed to enjoy this fictional tale of two of the most unlikely pair that are drifting down the river of the Mississippi in order to seek freedom for Jim. Even writer T.S. Elliot praises Twain’s Huckleberry Finn when he states, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the only one of Mark Twain’s various books which can be called a masterpiece,”
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The character of Huck starts off as a strong, opinionated and independent individual yet still holds true to that great western humor. However, towards the conclusion of the novel Huck loses that witty western humor and it replaces with a humorless form of comedy that is more disturbing than funny. Twain uses forms of humor in regard to the plan to rescue Jim and a scenario in which Jim is captured. Not only is Jim mistreated and humiliated towards the end of the novel but Huck personality seems to be a contradicted. Throughout the book readers have watched the character of Huck and can plainly see the compassion he develops along the way of his journey. However, I notice as I near the end that Huck’s compassion starts to wavier. I felt that the use of humor in the end demoralizes Jim and it makes me question the character of Huck. Also Jim’s personality alters and he becomes more submissive. It is hard to forget the beginning of the novel were Jim scolds Huck for playing a practical joke on him. As stated in Huckleberry Finn, “…and every time a rat bit Jim he would get up and write a little in his journal whilst the ink was fresh” (Twain). Towards the end we see Jim dehumanizes and actually treated as less than a human. The beginning of the novel start off with a great comical humor but toward end the humor was…show more content…
Eliot mention before, Huckleberry Finn is truly a masterpiece. The ending seemed a little dissatisfying and there were key elements missing. I felt that the novel was slightly weak and loses morals towards the end. Overall I feel that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is truly a great American novel.

Work Cited

"Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. University of Virginia Library, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014. <>.
"A Life Lived in a Rapidly Changing World: Samuel L. Clemens‚ 1835-1910."Welcome to the Mark Twain House & Museum. THE MARK TWAIN HOUSE & MUSEUM, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.
Leo Marx, "Mr. Eliot, Mr. Trilling, and Huckleberry Finn," American Scholar Vol. 22, No. 4 (AUTUMN, 1953); reprinted in Norton Critical Edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 2nd ed. (New York: Norton, 1977) 336-349
Twain, Mark, and Robert G. O 'Meally. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2008.
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