The adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The book "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" written by Mark Twain is about Huck Finn's journey down the Mississippi.
Huck lives at the Widow Douglas, who has adopted him; but soon he is fed up with his life there. But then his friend Tom Sawyer tells him that he is going to start a band of robbers and that he has to stay.
One day Huck's violent father comes to the widow's house and takes him to his little cabin deep in the forest. He has no chance to run away as his father locks the door every time he leaves. Some days later Huck finds a canoe on the river and sees his chance of escaping from his father: when his father has left to town he makes a hole in the wall of the cabin to get out and makes everything appear as if robbers had killed him and pushed him into a lake near the cabin. Then he leaves to Jackson's Island with his canoe, an uninhabited island in the Mississippi. On the island Huck meets Jim, a slave who has run away from his owner Miss Watson because she has wanted to sell him. After a heavy storm Huck and Jim see a cabin floating down the river. They find some useful things and Jim finds the dead body of Huck's father in it, but he does not tell Huck. As Huck becomes very bored after a few days on the island, he decides to go to the mainland and - dressed as a girl - to find out what is going on. A woman in the woods tells him that there is a reward of three hundred dollars for a runaway slave and that her husband is looking for him on Jackson's Island. Huck runs away and goes back to Jackson's Island where he and Jim start their journey down the Mississippi on a raft.
The journey is full of adventures: they go on a wrecked steamboat and see a gang of robbers and, because they have lost their raft, they have to take the robbers' boat. Later they meet two men hunting runaway slaves and Huck has to pretend that it is his very sick father who is on the raft, so that the two men are afraid of catching a serious disease and leave them. Their original plan is to stop in Cairo and take a steamboat up the Ohio River where Jim would be a free man. But they miss the town and continue their journey downstream on their raft. Two men join them who pretend to be the Duke of Bridgewater and the King of France, but who are only dirty traitors. In town they make a lots of money with a low - comedy play which is so short that the spectators get very angry. In another town they pretend to be Englishmen, the brothers of a rich man, who has died the day before and has left his brothers a lot of his properties and 6,000 dollars in gold. Huck has a guilty conscience and hides the money. In the end the fraud is discovered as the dead man's real brothers appear, but Huck, Jim and the traitors can escape. Later the two traitors sell Jim in order to get some money and Huck wants to find and rescue him.
On a cotton farm Huck is welcomed as Tom Sawyer, a relative of the family, and Huck, of course very amazed, pretends to be him. When the real Tom Sawyer arrives he tells him the whole story about his journey and that he now wants to free Jim. So the real Tom pretends to be Sid, Tom's brother. They find out that Jim is on the farm and Tom, who wants to act like a real criminal, makes a very difficult and quite idiotic plan to free him. The plan works, but Tom is wounded and so they have to go back to the farm. Finally Tom tells them all the truth and that Jim's owner has set Jim free right before her death because she has not wanted to sell him and has felt sorry for him. So the whole trouble, the plan to free Jim, has been in vain; Tom has wanted to do it just for fun. This is the end of the story.

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

The author, whose original name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was born in 1835. When he was four years old, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, on the Mississippi River, where he spent a wonderful childhood. His father died when he was twelve, and he started an apprenticeship as a printer. In 1857, he decided to realize his dream which he had as a boy: to become a river - boat pilot. From that experience he took the name "Mark Twain". When the Civil War broke out, he spent a short time in the Confederate army. Soon after he became a journalist. While he worked for a local newspaper in Nevada, he began to write literature. His sketch "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras Country" from 1867 made him famous. So, by 1870, he was known as a successful writer and it was in this year that he married. He bought a house in Hartford, Connecticut, where he wrote his most famous works, including "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in 1884 / 85.
However, as he became more famous, his pessimism and despair of human nature grew. His writing also became more critical of society and politics. After his daughters and his wife had both died, he himself finally died in Connecticut in 1910, at the age of seventy - five.

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