Among the many, great works of American literature, it is indisputably The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that most widely and firmly secures its place within the American canon. Fathers buy the adventure novel for their sons, schoolteachers read it to their students, undergraduates write term papers about it, and adults continually return to it, if only for the nostalgia of their youth. And yet, for the astute reader, a number of problems appear within this "greatest of children's books" (Harper & Brother's 8), namely the anticlimactic and entirely unsatisfactory d6- nouement, that seem to challenge the very meaning of Mark Twain's ever-cherished novel. In reality, Mark Twain-or more accurately Samuel Clemens-provides his reader with an onslaught of clues to indicate that his great adventure story and his epic hero are not at all what they appear to be. From the themes and false-symbols that permeate the novel, to the final, problematic conclusion, Clemens seems to be constantly hinting at a far more perverse, challenging reading of Huck Finn than his audience has permitted.
"The Grand Illusion: The Adventurs of Hucklebarry Finn and Samuel Clemen' Masterful Ruse,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 3
, Article 2.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol3/iss1/2