What should I put in a book review on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

Expert Answers
e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a book review on this novel, there are a number of elements to discuss. Humor and adventure are the key literary terms to be discussed and morality is the key theme. 

This is a novel of problem solving, among other things, with many moral problems being faced by the protagonist Huck Finn. 

On their trip, Huck confronts the ethics he has learned from society that tell him Jim is only property and not a human being. By this moral code, his act of helping Jim to escape is a sin. Rather than betray Jim, though, Huck decides, "All right, then, I'llgo to hell."

In dealing with this moral crisis as well as the problem of his abusive father and the two frauds Huck saves on the river (the King and the Duke), Huck repeatedly contemplates the nature of his options. He weighs the morality of the decisions before him, finding that society's rules are often at odds with the "right" course of action. 

Discussing humor and adventure are necessary for any review of this novel. The type of humor employed in the novel is sometimes referred to as burlesque.

Mark Twain is well known for his adept adaptations of burlesques in his works. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn he used the technique to critique the aristocratic pretensions of the King and Duke, and the romantic fantasies of Tom Sawyer.

The novel is also highly episodic, relying on the structure of an adventure novel (as referenced in the book's title). Adventure stories are a genre of fiction writing, akin in relationship to other literature as "action films" relate to "dramas". Plot is the central driving force of adventure writing, as it is in action films. 

A review of this novel should also consider the practice of slavery, which receives some oblique commentary in the book. Twain's novel is often discussed as a work making commentary on the practice of slavery, however there is little in the way of direct statements regarding the validity or morality of slavery in the text.

Due to the very common association of this text with discussions of slavery, any complete review should consider this element of the narrative. 

victory314 | Student

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel written by Mark Twain.

It is a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is mostly interpreted as a satire on the status of slavery.

It describes a white American boy's adventures who is about thirteen or fourteen years old. The configuration was centered at travel stories and episodes during his adventures.

Huckleberry finn, who was adopted by Widow Douglas, is a son of the town drunk, "Pap" Finn, so he has a hard time fitting into society.

His father kidnapps Huck when he hears that Huck has earned money. Although Huck prefers life in the backwoods cabin to his life with the widow, he resents Pap's his habit of keeping him locked inside the cabin and his drunken violence. So he escapes and sets off down in the Mississippi River.

On an island called Jackson's Island, he meets Miss Watson's (Widow's sister) slave Jim. Together, they find a raft and eventually use it to travel down the Mississippi to seek for freedom.

They get involved in variety of events and one day meets Tom Sawyer to hear that Miss Watson has freed Jim testamentarily.

Huck and Tom decides to flee west to Indian Territory and the novel ends.

Read the study guide:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question