Happy Birthday goes out to Mark Twain

On November 30, 1835 Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne  Clemens.  Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse, but evolved into a chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, with Huckleberry Finn, he combined rich humor, sturdy narrative and social criticism. Here is the plot summary of this wonderful book.

 

Huckleberry Finn, as depicted by E. W. Kemble in the original 1884 edition of the book.

[edit] Life in St. Petersburg

The story begins in fictional St. Petersburg, Missouri, on the shores of the Mississippi River, sometime between 1835 (when the first steamboat sailed down the Mississippi[10]) and 1845. Two young boys, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, have each come into a considerable sum of money as a result of their earlier adventures (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer). Huck has been placed under the guardianship of the Widow Douglas, who, together with her sister, Miss Watson, are attempting to “sivilize (sic)” him. Huck appreciates their efforts, but finds civilized life confining. In the beginning of the story, Tom Sawyer appears briefly, helping Huck escape at night from the house, past Miss Watson’s slave, Jim. They meet up with Tom Sawyer’s self-proclaimed gang, who plot to carry out adventurous crimes. Life is changed by the sudden appearance of Huck’s shiftless father “Pap,” an abusive parent and drunkard. Although Huck is successful in preventing his Pap from acquiring his fortune, Pap forcibly gains custody of Huck and the two move to the backwoods where Huck is kept locked inside his father’s cabin. Equally dissatisfied with life with his father, Huck escapes from the cabin, elaborately fakes his own death, and sets off down the Mississippi River.

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About Donna Jackson

I am the librarian for the Wakefield Library Association. I am in the process using information services to bring more patrons into our historic library. I am taking online classes in the library science field to get a degree in Library Science.
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