Commentaries on the Exhibit’s Works




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A brief commentary prepared by Kara Getrost, PhD, Lecturer, English, on the following work:

Mark Twain
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
1884 and 1885; first British edition (1884) and first American edition (1885)


This volume, a sequel to the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, is considered one of the most significant works of the American literary tradition for its faithful but satirical depiction of the antebellum American South.

For Mark Twain, Huck’s voyage on a raft down the Mississippi River with Jim, a friend and escaped slave, came to represent the coming-of-age struggles of an adolescent America.

Critics have praised it for its realistic representation of regional dialect and criticized its coarse depiction of the American South; it’s been banned at times for its vulgar language and its treatment of race. Critics argue that the satirical representation of a racist society reveals the logical fallacies that underpin slavery; however, the moral transformation of Huck and the humanizing portrayal of Jim also send an anti-racist message. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an American masterpiece.

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Herbert Woodward Martin, professor emeritus of English, reads a selection.

Twain: ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’


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