Samuel Langhorne Clemons began working at a young age to support his family after his father’s passing. In 1851, he started out working for his brother as a printer. He became a riverboat piolet, Horace Bixby. He began working for the newspaper shortly after and this is when he received his pen name, Mark Twain. In 1870, he married Olivia Langdon, the daughter of a wealthy coal dealer from Buffalo, New York. Soon after, he wrote his most famous book Adventures of Tom Sawyer that in the first couple months sold 25,000 copies.
Since Tom Sawyer did so well, he decided to write a sequel called Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In the first fourteen months, this sequel sold 50,000 copies (Elliott 101-102).
Both books were finished by 1885, which gave him the time to devote himself to his wife. Mark and Olivia had three daughters and one son. Although, two out of the four children died at a young age; the youngest daughter had epilepsy.
Twain’s later writings were dark views of anger against orthodoxies. He had organized beliefs on religion, capitalism, and colonism. Mark Twain wrote his autobiography but wanted to wait 100 years for it to be published. The first volume was published in 2010 and it was a best seller (Elliott 103-104)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn starts out on a high note when Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn find gold; they each got $6,000 from the it. However, Judge Thacker took the money from them and put it in the bank to gain interest.
Huck Finn was an orphan; he was staying with the Widow Douglas and she was teaching him how to act and about the Bible. The Widow lived with her sister, Miss Watson. Huck Finn did not listen to the Widow very well and he decided when everyone went to sleep, he would sneak out and go out with Tom. However, his plan did not work as well as it could have; Huck fell over a big tree root. Miss Watson’s slave, Jim, was in the kitchen and heard him. He looked out but didn’t notice anything and went to sleep. As they sneak away, Tom gathered up some guys from town and wanted to create a robber’s gang.
Everything is going good in the town until Huck’s father, Pap, comes back. He demands that Huck give him the money he found. Once Pap returns, the local judge, Judge Thacker and the Widow try to adopt Huck Finn. However, the new judge in town did not agree and felt that the father should have the rights to keep the child. Pap takes Huck to his cabin in the woods for several months continuing to harass Huck. Pap came in contact with the Widow and she told him to stay away from her house. This made Pap furious, so he decided to kidnap Huck and take him where no one could find him. Pap would go out and get drunk and when he would return, he would beat Huck for no reason. Huck was scared that the beatings would get worse, so he developed a plan to run away. He faked his own death by killing a pig and spreading the blood everywhere. He took a canoe to Jackson’s Island on the Illinois Shore.
Once Huck reaches Jackson’s Island, he watches a boat go by that is looking for him. After a few days of being on the island, Huck Finn finds Jim, Miss Watson’s slave. Huck and Jim had to leave the island because a woman’s husband suspected Jim was living on the island and as a runaway, he couldn’t take any chances. They traveled down the river toward the free states. During this time, they run into some armed bandits and they are talking about a man named Peter Wilks. He had recently passed away and his inheritance was being transferred to his brothers. Wilks’s three nieces welcome the con men and quickly set about liquidating the estate. A few townspeople become skeptical, and Huck, who grows to admire the Wilks sisters, decides to thwart the scam. He steals the dead Peter Wilks’s gold from the duke and the dauphin but is forced to stash it in Wilks’s coffin. Huck then reveals all to the eldest Wilks sister, Mary Jane. Huck’s plan for exposing the duke and the dauphin is about to unfold when Wilks’s real brothers arrive from England. The angry townspeople hold both sets of Wilks claimants, and the duke and the dauphin just barely escape in the ensuing confusion. Fortunately for the sisters, the gold is found.
The duke and dauphin sell Jim to a local farmer and told him that he was a runaway and there was a huge reward. Huck finds out where Jim was sold, and he comes up to make sure he was okay. The place where Jim was being kept was Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle, Sally and Silas. Sally thought Huck was Tom because he was supposed to be coming by to visit. Tom comes by and comes up with a plan to free Jim, however, during the plan Tom gets shot in the leg and Jim gives up his freedom to help Tom. They all end back up at the Phelps house and Jim is enslaved again. The next day when Tom wakes up, he exposes that Jim has been freed all along due to in Miss Watson’s, who passed away two months ago. She put in her will that he should be freed. Jim tells Huck that the man that was dead from the floating house off the Jackson Island was Huck’s father, Pap. Aunt Sally offers to adopt Huck, but Huck declined and said he had plans to go West.
As I have read through this story and seen all the ups and downs of Huck Finn, I do not have a “Huck Finn” that lives in me. I am not an adventurous person at all however, I have a twin sister that is the complete opposite of me, and she would have a similar personality to Huck Finn. I feel that the spur imagination to a generation at the time who were kept very close under the thumb of their parents is very true in this story. This is meaning that kids were under a strict regimen and were not allowed to be adventurous. In this story, the Widow was trying to “civilize” Huck and teach him to read, write, and about the Bible. However, when he was not in sight of the Widow, he got to do whatever he wanted. Many parents in today’s society are not acting as one unit in disciplining their child’s actions. I feel that if more parents became like the Widow and tried to teach their children morals and how to act in public, then children would not be so quick to get into mischief and misbehave (Levine).