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Author: Mark Twain Mark Twain
Brief Author Bio: Mark Twain grew up in Missouri, which was a slave state during his childhood. He would later incorporate his formative experiences of the institution of slavery into his writings. As a teenager, Twain worked as a printer’s apprentice and later… more Samuel Clemens spent his youth in Hannibal, Missouri, a small port town on the Mississippi. His father died when he was eleven, and he worked in the newspaper business from twelve onwards, first as a typesetter at The Hannibal Journal more
Where Written: Hartford, Connecticut, and Quarry Farm, located in Elmira, New York Hartford, Connecticut
When Published: 1884 in England; 1885 in the United States of America 1876
Literary Period: Social realism (Reconstruction Era in United States) American Realism
Genre: Children’s novel / satirical novel The novel is a hybrid of several genres, including satire, comedy, and folk narrative. It may be categorized as a picaresque novel because it's composed of a series of episodic adventures involving an impish child. As the story of Tom's… bildungsroman.' href='#'>more
Setting: On and around the Mississippi River in the American South The fictional village of St. Petersburg, which is based on Twain's boyhood home of Hannibal, Missouri
Climax: Jim is sold back into bondage by the duke and king Lost in MacDougal's Cave with Becky, Tom is searching the tunnels for a way out when he encounters Injun Joe, who runs away. (This is the major climax of the novel because Tom is its hero, but a secondary climax… more
Antagonist: Pap, the duke and king, society in general Injun Joe
Point Of View: First person limited, from Huck Finn’s perspective The novel is narrated in the omniscient third person, though it is the voice of an adult with sympathetic insight into the struggles of boyhood.
Plot Summary Huckleberry Finn introduces himself as a character from the book prequel to his own, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He explains that at the end of that book, he and his friend Tom Sawyer discovered a robber’s cache of gold and consequently became rich, but that now Huck lives with a good but mechanical woman, the Widow Douglas, and her holier-than-thou sister, Miss Watson. Huck resents the “sivilized” lifestyle that the widow imposes on him. However, Huck stays with the Widow and Miss Watson... The novel centers on the mischievous orphan Tom Sawyer, who lives in the quaint village of St. Petersburg, Missouri under the care of his kind Aunt Polly along with his ill-natured brother Sid and angelic cousin Mary. As a collection of stories, the novel is loosely structured, but follows the arc of Tom's transformation from a rebellious boy who longs to escape authority to a responsible community member committed to respectability.Tom's first adventure occurs as a result of him playing...
Major Characters: Huckleberry Finn, Jim, Tom Sawyer, The duke and king, The Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, Pap, Colonel Sherburn, The Grangerfords and Shepherdsons, Sally and Silas Phelps Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher, Injun Joe, Joe Harper, Judge Thatcher, Alfred Temple, The Welchman, Mr. Dobbins, Mr. Walters, Dr. Robinson
Minor Characters: Judge Thatcher, Judith Loftus, Jack, Mary Jane Wilks, Joanna Wilks, Doctor Robinson and Levi Bell, Harvey and William Wilks, Peter Wilks, Nat, Aunt Polly, The new judge Aunt Polly, Sid, Cousin Mary, Ben Rogers, Amy Lawrence, Dr. Robinson, Muff Potter, The Stranger, The widow Douglas, Mrs. Sereny Harper, The sign-painters boy, Mr. Sprague, Jim, Lawyer Thatcher, Sheriff, Mrs. Thatcher, Mrs. Harper, Uncle Jake, Susy Harper, The minister, The sign-painter's boy
Related Literary Works: The great precursor to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Both books are picaresque novels. That is, both are episodic in form, and both satirically enact social critiques. Also, both books are rooted in the… more The novel is often seen as a less serious work than its sequel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), in novel which Tom plays a minor role but which has Tom's best friend Huck Finn as its central character and… Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894) and Tom Sawyer Neglected (1896). He appears in Twain's unfinished works Huck and Tom Among the Indians, Schoolhouse Hill, and Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy.' href='#'>more
Extra Credit: Mark Twain composed Huckleberry using not a high literary style but local dialects that he took great pains to reproduce with his idiosyncratic spelling and grammar A very important 20th-century novelist, Ernest Hemingway, considered Huckleberry Finn to be the best… more The original publication of Tom Sawyer by the American Publishing Company included 160 illustrations by True Williams. It is believed that the publisher might have intended that the pictures bulk up the rather short manuscript. The Canadian group Rush wrote… more
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