The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered by many to be the greatest American novel ever written. Even though the book received much accolades, Mark Twain’s masterpiece has never been without criticism. Upon its inception it was blasted for being indecent literature for young readers because of its lack of morals and contempt for conformity. Modern indignation toward Huck Finn arises from its racist undertones, most notably Twain’s treatment of the character Jim. As is the case with many glorified yet controversial books, the biggest conflict is centered around the inclusion of Huck Finn on required reading lists of public schools throughout the country. In general, the mostly African-Americans consider Mark Twain himself to be a racist and his book, Huckleberry Finn, simply a reflection of his thoughts. Black characters, especially Jim, are portrayed as fools and used as comedic fodders to support feelings of white superiority in Twain’s southern audience. Although Jim’s positive qualities are presented in certain parts of the novel, they are overshadowed by his superstitious idiocy which Twain constantly highlights throughout the book. The fact that Huck’s narration is intentionally skewed by the innocence and ignorance of an adolescent is little consolation to those who feel that Twain has committed gross immorality. Also, the incessant use of the word “nigger” has been deemed excessive. Despite these condemnations though even the staunchest opponents of Twain find certain redeeming qualities that make it hard to promote all out censorship. The book exhibits the racial qualities that were instilled in many southern White men. Throughout the book there is extensive use of the word “nigger”. The use shows how socially acceptable degrading African – Americans was. Huck is able to recognize. The San Francisco Chronicle states:
"Mark Twain may be called the Edison of our literature. There is no limit to his inventive genius, and the best proof of its range and originality is found in this book, in which the reader's interest is so strongly enlisted in the fortunes of two boys and a runaway negro that he follows their adventures with keen curiosity, although his common sense tells him that the incidents are as absurd and fantastic in many was as the 'Arabian Nights.' Here is where the genius and the human nature of the author come in. Nothing else can explain such a tour de force as this, in which the most unlikely materials are transmuted into a work of literary art."
While reading the book, I was captivated by the idyllic pictures that were painted in my mind by Twain’s artistry. The plot of the story entertained me until the middle of the book. It was here that I became bored and disinterested in the book. The book is long and very difficult to follow due to the numerous quests which are embarked upon by the main characters. Because of the use of language and complex story line, this would be a definite read for teenage.