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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, was written as in effort to capitalize on the popularity of the earlier novel it's based off of, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This new novel was a right of passage from childhood to adulthood for Mark Twain since it was based on a more serious character and it focused on the institution of slavery and the South. Ultimately, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has proved significant not only as a novel that explores the racial and moral world of its times but also, through the controversies that continue to surround it as an artifact of those same moral and racial tensions as they have evolved to the present day.

" The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know all and then stop." (Mark Twain). Many of the characters in Twains' book are based off of his childhood and people that are close to him. An example would be the protagonist in his book, Huckleberry Finn. Although some are dubious about whether or not just one person was the inspiration for Huckleberry Finn, on January 25, 1885, Mark Twain conducted an interview with the Minnesota "Tribune" in which he claimed that Tom Blankenship was the original Huckleberry Finn. Tom Blankenship was on of Twains' friends as a boy in Hannibal, Missouri. In his

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"Autobiography," Mark Twain wrote: "In 'Huckleberry Finn' I have drawn Tom Blankenship exactly as he was. He was ignorant, unwashed, insufficiently fed; but he had a good heart as ever any boy had. His liberties were totally unrestricted. He was the only really independent person--boy or man--in the community, and by the consequence he was tranquilly and continuously happy and envied by the rest of us. And as his society was forbidden us by our parents the prohibition trebled and quadrupled its value, therefore we sought and got more of society than any other boy's." Mark Twain's ability to write about his experiences in life and the people he has met make his writing more realistic and all the more interesting. His childhood had a great effect on the characters in his book.

Twain's life not only influenced the characters in his life but the plot as well. When he first started writing his new novel it focused on more controversial issues such as the institution of slavery and the South but Twain soon set Huckleberry Finn aside because its darker tone did not fit in the optimistic time of the Gilded Age (post Civil War). In the early 1880s the hopefulness of the post- Civil war years began to fade and Twain's personal life began to collapse. His wife (whom he married in 1870) had long been sickly and the couple lost their first son after nineteen months. He also made many poor financial decisions and, in 1891 found himself in debt. This



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