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Titel / Referat: Twain, Mark - The adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Interpretation in Englisch)

Schlagwörter: Mark Twain, Book Interpretation, Die Abenteuer des Huckleberry Finn, Characters, Jim, Tom Sawyer, Style of writing, Own experience Hausaufgabe, Referat

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The adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Book Interpretation

I was very impressed about the friendship between Huckleberry Finn and Jim. They did so much together, so that they became very close. There were large differences between Huck and Jim. Jim was much older than Huck and he was a slave. The biggest difference was their skin colour. In the time the book was written, there was slavery in America. That’s why the skin colour played an even bigger role. Although they were so different, Huck and Jim became such good friends. I think they noticed, that they sat in the same boat, or shall I say on the same raft? Huck and Jim had similar interests. They both didn’t want to be discovered and go back to the place where they came from. It touched my heart, when I read this part, when Huck came back from Colonel Grangerford, alive and without being wounded. When Jim saw him, you could feel his relief and his joy. And Jim called him “Honey”; an old black slave said to a young white boy “Honey”. I found that absolutely cute.

Jim was like a second father for Huck, because his own father was never there for him. And Huck was the substitute for Jim’s family, which he had left. Huck and Jim were often lying on the raft and talking, about anything really. I think this is also very special because there were so many differences between them. Society wouldn’t tolerate this, because of their different skin colour, but they didn’t care about society.

Drink problem and poverty:
The story of the adventures of Huckleberry Finn also tells us something about the drink problem in the Southern States of America. Huck’s father didn’t care about him and he would have been neglected, if the widow Douglas hadn’t looked after him. Then after a year his father looked for Huck because he heard about the money Huck had found. His father only came looking for Huck because he needed some money to buy his alcohol. Money troubles and drink problems were typical for the Southern States in this time. I don’t have own experiences with drink problems, but I’ve often read and heard about it . It’s like a spiral, which only can go down and it often ends up in tragedies. In this book you see that alcohol and money troubles can destroy families and relationships. When you look at the story from this point of view it’s a very dark book.

Today we don’t know the problem of feuds anymore, but we’ve got similar problems. We know brutal wars with uncountable victims. I found it very interesting to read something about those feuds in America. I thought that only happened in the Middle Ages in Europe and I was a little surprised, when the story was about that. It was fascinating to gain an insight into these feuds in this personal way, which Huck did, but I found it terrible how this little story finished. I didn’t want Buck, the friend of Huck, to die. But I must realize that this was reality and this book showed a true part of the life of people in this time. And all in all it’s mostly better to live in the truth and not in a dream world.

I think slavery is the central subject of this book. I liked to read something about it, but it often upset me how cruel life could be to people, who had the bad luck to be dark-skinned and to live in a time, when they’d got no rights. I didn’t understand that all the people automatically thought that Jim had murdered Huck after he had escaped. I think this shows very well, how people thought about “niggers”. They thought there could be nothing positive about niggers but their service to the whites.
Huck broke a taboo when he made friends with Jim. For example when he saved him by telling the men they had smallpox on board and especially when Huck freed Jim. When he did this Huck didn’t act as the rules of society told him. He knew this, but he just wanted to help his friend Jim and so he didn’t care about society.

I like Huck. He has a good heart. He does what he thinks is right and doesn’t care about civilisation and society. When he wanted to help Jim, he helped him no matter if other people found this good or bad. I wonder why he doesn’t care that he’s got no mother and no father. Probably it’s because he had never known anything else. It is normal for him and he accepted the things as they were. After this story I think he didn’t change a lot. He’s got more courage and definitely more experience now, but one thing certainly is still the same. Tom Sawyer is his great idol. He does, what Tom says. In the beginning he went back to the widow Douglas, because Tom said so and finally they went on with Tom’s plan to free Jim, although it was more dangerous than Huck’s. During the story Huck thought of Tom again and again. He thought: What would Tom do in this situation? And when he had a problem: Tom would know what to do now. There you can see that he really admires Tom.

I like the way Jim looked after Huck. He was like the father Huck never had. He loved Huck like his own child, but Huck was also his best friend. I was impressed, that Jim was able to love a white man, although he was their slave. Jim is devoted to Miss Watson and wants to stay by her. When he had to be sold, he ran away, because he knew that not every white person was as kind as Miss Watson. To escape on a raft was more dangerous for him than for Huck, because he could be arrested or lynched, if someone caught him. I think the biggest change in the whole book is that Jim was a slave before and now he’s a free man. For him there was starting a new life.

Tom Sawyer:
Tom is a rascal as the books says . It seems that he only lives for playing tricks and going through adventures. When Huck and Tom wanted to free Jim, he made a real adventure of that, although he knew that Jim would have been free anyway , because Miss Watson was dead. He knew that he can do such things because people like him anyway. When he plays his tricks, you still like him, because he never means it bad.

Style of writing:
I like the beginning of the book, when Huck addressed himself to the reader. We don’t know him personally, but when I read the beginning of the book it seemed as if I did. Huck leads the reader through the whole book. You can see the world with his eyes. He took racism and slavery as given, it was normal for him. At first I was surprised about that, but it’s logical and it makes this novel realistic and believable. All those things that we think were cruel at other times were normal at this time. Maybe the next generation will think we were cruel in any sort of thing, but for us it’s usual now. All those different adventures Huck went trough describe well, what life was like in this time. I think that’s what the author wanted.

Serious as well as sad is what the story was sometimes, I often had to laugh. Mark Twain has a sense of humour, which I like. Often there was only a thought, which made me smile, but sometimes there were also whole actions that made me laugh. For example when Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer made a plan to free Jim, they didn’t take the easiest and most comfortable way. No they made a high complex plan how to get Jim out of the little hut, where he was locked. And this only to do something special and adventurous as it stood in the books Tom read.

Own experience:
When I first saw the title of this book, I thought this book is sort of an “adventure story book” for boys. I thought of a book with stories about a little boy with his little adventures and little secrets. I never thought of a book with social criticism, so serious subjects and irony in this way. When I realized this, I was relieved, because it would be a bit boring, if it were an “adventure story book” for boys. But reading also became more taxing (tiring). Sometimes, when I was tired, I wanted to put away this book and not take it anymore because I didn’t understand anything. But after some time, when I could concentrate again I liked to read further and learn how the story continuous. In the beginning, there often were long passages with only descriptions and consideration, so reading became laborious. It became laborious and boring because of those many difficult words and because there was nothing happening. But by-and-by the story became more passionate and after I was reading some time I got used to the text and it was fun to read the book. When I was stressed, because I couldn’t understand every word, I didn’t concentrate and so I understood less. But when I didn’t care about the unknown words I understood most of it. The only thing, which I didn’t like were the dialects when the author let the persons speak. It was pretty difficult for me, to know what they said because you can’t look up dialects in a dictionary. Often I had to read those passages loud and when I heard the sound of the words I could understand them.

I think this book was suitable for me, because I like this kind of irony and I am sometimes a little like Huck or Tom, when they play their tricks. My sense of humour is similar to Mark Twain’s. Finally I have to say that I like this book, demanding as it was, and I’m proud that I’ve read this book. 

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