Chosen by Suzy
A young boy named Huck sets off down the Mississippi River on a raft in search of freedom and adventure
☁ Inspired by many of the author’s own experiences as a riverboat pilot, this book tells the story of two runaways — a white boy and a black slave — and their journey down the mighty Mississippi River. Among their adventures are encounters with a family involved in a feud, two scoundrels pretending to be royalty, and Tom Sawyer’s aunt who mistakes him for Tom.
Although it is now regarded by many as one of the greatest literary achievements America has produced, when the book was first published it scandalised reviewers and parents who thought it would corrupt young children with its depiction of a hero who lies, steals, and uses coarse language. Even more recently, the condemnation of the book has continued due to the use of ‘N’ word. The novel continues to appear on lists of books banned in schools across the country but at the same time is praised for its strong point of view, skilful depiction of dialects, and confrontation of issues of race and prejudice.
Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.
Before this bookclub meet, most of our last readings of Huck Finn was as a child and left only happy memories. With this re-read however, it was the terrible racism that stood out to us. Though its’ important to remember Twain was highlighting an issue of the time and not expressing his own opinions in the writing of this story. The seriousness of the story but also the carefree humour were more evident this time around, and we all felt a new connection to the book.” – Rachel
Chatto & Windus