I read this before, twice likely. I remember my college English teacher's being enamored by this book. I'm pretty sure I liked it back in the dark ages. I still like it: it's a wonderful book. Huck Finn is a kid from the wrong side of the tracks. He ends up with a small fortune and is adopted by a well-off widow who tries to "civilize" him (this from the ending of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
, the prequel, if you will). The only time that going to school and acting civilized works for him is when his drunken, useless father is around, trying to steal Huck's "fortune", which is being managed in trust by a local judge. Eventually, Huck disappears from "civilization" to escape his father and to escape being civilized.
He ends up going down the Mississippi on a "borrowed/salvaged" raft with a run-away slave named Jim, someone he'd known in the town where he'd lived. He knew Jim to be a good person. So anyway, they have adventures on the way down the river. All the while Huck realizes more and more that Jim is a person, more-or-less like him, and that even though it's allegedly a sin not
to turn Jim in—we're talking 1850 or so—he can't make himself do it because Jim has become one of the best friends he's ever had.
The book is a bit ludicrous in many parts, but great fun. Jim and Huck hook up with a couple of itinerant con men. One of them re-sells Jim back to slavery. Huck and Tom Sawyer (who just shows up out of the blue) go through a series of machinations to free Jim. And so on. Along the way, we have the moral musings of someone not brought up in an environment engineered to instill morality, but Huck's inclinations always seems to be on the side of righteousness, so to speak. It makes me wonder why those of us who were brought up with more advantages can't find it within ourselves to reason similarly.