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Monday, February 18, 2013
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
"But the truth is, that when a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn't anger me." Mark Twain
Introduced as the sidekick in Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn's story was finally told on this date in 1885 with the American release of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, perhaps the most frequently banned book in America. Twain saw the book as a sequel to Tom Sawyer, with a serious twist.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a first person narrative told by Huck, set in mid 1840's Missouri, of his helping his friend Jim, a fugitive slave, escape slave holding Missouri to freedom in Ohio. As an adolescent, Huck is able to see and speak of the injustices of slavery where adults can't, or won't.
As Twain described Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: "a sound heart is a surer guide than an ill-trained conscience, he goes on to describe the novel as ...a book of mine where a sound heart and deformed conscience come into collision and the conscience suffers defeat."
Only 20 years earlier, on this same date, Jefferson Davis was named provisional President of the Confederate States of America, leading to the American Civil War or as was long anticipated in antebellum America, the continuation of the English Civil War on American soil. Either way the Cavaliers lost.