Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain ***

I know, I know. I've been very lax. I have good reason, what with the holidays & all. But have I stopped reading? Not really. I usually do limit my reading at this time of year just so I can get everything done for Christmas. But I have read 3 books since my last posting & I'll share them with you.
The first, of course, is Huck Finn. It starts out very promising, but I have to say that once the Prince & the Duke join them I lost a lot of my interest. It seemed like it got way off track, & major characters (like Jim) were suddenly ignored. Once Tom Sawyer was in the book again that did it for me--I had to skim the rest of the book just to get through it. Tom's character annoyed me in the first book, I certainly didn't want to see him again in Huck's book.
I have to admit that this book isn't fresh on my mind (I read it about a month ago), but my overall impression is that Mark Twain didn't know what he himself thought about slavery in America. He built Jim up into a very real person, someone we could all find something to identify with, then discarded him when that became too uncomfortable for him. I can't help but look at the book from my own time period & perspective, & maybe that's why I judge Mark Twain too harshly. I suppose most of it has to do with the building up of Mark Twain himself--especially with living in Missouri I've heard about how great he was all my life. It's probably just natural that he couldn't live up to his own legend. I think sometimes we do a disservice to authors by putting them on a pedestal.

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