by Kim A. Howe, M.S., Kelly Kirk
Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered to be one of the greatest American novels ever written. The story is narrated by a runaway boy named "Huck" who is accompanied by a runaway slave named Jim. The novel follows their adventures traveling up the Mississippi River as they work their way towards Illinois where slavery has been abolished.
The unit begins by providing historical context for the novel including the realities of the institution of slavery in the mid 1800s. During the process of studying the novel, you will learn about the characteristics of narrative writing, such as the use of figures of speech, the use of literary techniques like dialogue and irony, and the use of literary devices like point of view. You will also explore the differences between narrative writing and the genres of expository and persuasive writing. The unit ends with an examination of Mark Twain's influence on modern literature and the reasons for the choices that get made in film adaptations.