Mark Twain and The Adventures
of Huckleberry Finn
Mountain Pointe High School
Honors Junior English
• Name: Samuel Langhorne Clemens
• Born in a small, rural town in Missouri on
Nov. 30, 1835
• Moved to Hannibal, Mo. at the age of six
• Loved to watch the activities on the
Life in Hannibal
• As a child, he aspired to become a river boat
• After brief careers as a type-setter and a
printer. He came back to settle in Hannibal.
• At the age of 22,
he became a
for $250 a month
$155,000 a year,
• Hannibal later became the settings for his
most famous books, Tom Sawyer and The
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
• The Civil War broke out in 1861, curtailing all
commerce on the river.
• Twain lived in Nevada and California mining
• Worked as a miner, editor of a newspaper, and
• Wrote “The Notorious/Celebrated Frog of
Calaveras County” and Roughing It
• Toured Europe, wrote
The Innocents Abroad
• Married Olivia Langston in 1870 (35 yrs old)
– Claimed it was “love at first sight”
– From a wealthy, but liberal family
– Gave him access to many influential people
• Three daughters: Susy, Clara, and Jean
– all died before the age of twenty
– Deaths of first two daughters caused depression
Twain was quoted as saying:
“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is
coming again next year, and I expect to go out
with it. It will be the greatest disappointment
of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet.
The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here
are these two unaccountable freaks; they
came in together, they must go out together’.”
• His prediction was accurate—Twain died of a
heart attack on April 21, 1910 in Redding,
Connecticut one day after the comet's closest
approach to Earth.
• Championed labor unions
• Women’s rights
• Children’s rights (anti-abuse)
• Human rights (anti-slavery)
– Chinese slaves/African slaves
• Considered the first “Great American Novel”
• Solidified Twain as a noteworthy American
• Sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
• Both based on childhood friends and events
while Twain was a
child in Hannibal.
• First published in December 1884.
• Work is among the first in major American
literature to be written in the vernacular,
characterized by local color regionalism.
• Noted for its colorful description of people
and places along the Mississippi River.
• Satirizing a Southern antebellum society that
was already out of date by the time the work
was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
is an often scathing look at entrenched
attitudes, particularly racism.
• The drifting journey of Huck and his friend
Jim, a runaway slave, down the Mississippi
River on their raft may be one of the most
enduring images of escape and freedom in all
of American literature.
• The work has been popular with readers since
its publication and is taken as a sequel to The
Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
• It has also been the continued object of study
by serious literary critics. It was criticized upon
release because of its coarse language and
became even more controversial in the 20th
century because of its perceived use of racial
stereotypes and because of its frequent use of
the racial slur "nigger."
Themes to Discuss
• Good vs. Evil
• Freedom vs. Civilization
• Racial Prejudice and Slavery
• Morality and Intellectuality
• Huckleberry Finn
• Tom Sawyer
• Pap vs. Jim (father figure)
"Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 19 Nov 2009, 18:35 UTC. 19
“Mark Twain." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 Nov 2009, 23:19 UTC. 19 Nov 2009