The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1885)

Love this book. The best thing about it? Hmm. I’ll go for its pragmatism.

Here’s the boy Huck chewing over what Miss Watson, an old maid with goggles on, tells him about how to live his life, including praying and other worthy stuff.

[That] I must help other people, and do everything I could for other people and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself. This was including Miss Watson, as I took it. I went out in the woods and turned it over in my mind a long time, but I couldn’t see no advantage about it – except for the other people – so at last I reckoned I wouldn’t worry about it anyway but just let it go.

Love the perfectly pitched and subtle Mississippi dialect in as I took it and couldn’t see no advantage about it. You can see Huck chewing his straw.

Twain’s one of the very few who can write dialect natural, like. (Yep, I’m crap.)

Here’s Huck on maths.

… I had been to school most all the time, and could spell, and read and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I don’t reckon I could ever get any further than that if I was to live forever. I don’t take no stock in mathematics, anyway.

My kind of guy.

And here he is on how to deal with low-down humbugs and frauds.

…I never said nothing, never let on, kept it to myself… then you don’t have no quarrels, and don’t get into no trouble… I learnt the best way to get along with these kind of people is to let them have their own way.

And that’s why we like him so much. Figures his shit out and goes it alone.

I warn’t not call that no freedom. No, hang on…

Thanks for being here.

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Guy Nicholls

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2 thoughts on “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1885)”

  1. Thanks. I think your earlier suggestion of ‘patois’ better. Anyone out there read Tom Sawyer and is it as good as Huckleberry Finn? Am yet to read it.


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