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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Race

Surprise: a book set in the pre-Civil War South with a black man as one of the main characters deals with the theme of race. We're shocked. But seriously, Huckleberry Finn tackles some major issues...

Morality and Ethics

If you're like Shmoop, you run into moral issues everyday. Should I copy my friend's trigonometry homework? Do I need to leave a note for the person whose car bumper I just dinged? Whose $5 bill is...

Rules and Order

Don't touch that. Don't slouch. Don't put your feet up. Go to church. Go to Sunday School. Just… go to school, period. Huck is surrounded by rules, and they're not all as easy to follow as "sit u...

Lies and Deceit

When is a lie just a lie, and when it is a con? Thirteen-year-old narrator Huck Finn can hardly open his mouth without an untruth spilling out, but his lies are all for a good cause: getting Jim to...

Religion

With stories about babies found in bulrushes and kings who propose cutting infants in half, you can see why Huck is a little skeptical of religion. And it seems like Twain might be a little skeptic...

Friendship

Huck takes friendship so seriously that he's willing to swear blood oaths on it. Worse, he's willing to risk eternal damnation—because that's what he thinks awaits him for helping Jim escape. But...

Man and the Natural World

Huck is like that hippie kid with questionable hygiene who can't stop talking about how he once hiked the Appalachian Trail. No walls, houses, beds, and chairs for this guy; he'd rather be living i...

Family

Huck leaves behind one family—an abusive, drunken one—to find family after family as he travels down the Mississippi River, from the feuding Grangerfords to the grieving sisters to the cozy Aun...

Youth

Huck Finn’s youthful naiveté is part of the charm of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Because of his young age, he is able to approach conflict with an innocence and curiosity that an older p...

Foolishness and Folly

For the most part, characters in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are made fools by other characters. Pranks, cons, tricks, and deceptions seem to be everyone’s stock and trade in this novel, w...

The Supernatural

Belief in the supernatural and superstition in general are the marks of multiple characters in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It’s their mutual belief in certain superstitions that originall...

Drugs and Alcohol

Alcohol use in Huck Finn is usually portrayed as compulsive and excessive, and it’s always a harmful activity. Huck’s father is an abusive alcoholic, and therefore his son can see nothing posit...

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