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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Moshe Segal <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 6 Jan 2001 22:30:31 -0800
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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Greetings to the group.  I have recently completed the reading of all fowr
of Mark Twain's books that feature the characters of Tom Sawyer and Huck
Finn, having read the latter two, TS Abroad and TS Detective for the first

My main question is this:  I wonder what Twain's purpose was in writing
these last two books in Huck's first person Of Huckleberry Finn, rather
than the flexible third person voice of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  I
question this because firstly, Both latter titles specify Tom Sawyer, and
for the most part, most of the action in both books are attributed to Tom,
while Huck is an observer, or a secondary participant at best.  Secondly,
Huck Says, in the concluding lines of his self-titled narrative:
" ... and so there ain't nothing more
to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if
I'd a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I
wouldn't a tackled it, and ain't a-going to no more."
Obviously, Huck changed his mind about writing books between HF and TSA,
but there is no mention of that.  I can only possibly conjecture that Twain
found Huck's voice as suitable after using it for the long novel, and chose
to retain it.  Are there any critical materials online that I might be able
to view that deals with this?

I have another question, which is somewhat off the point.  I see a big
difference between TS abroad antd the other three books.  The others
conclude with  a major accomplishment, (finding the money in the cave,
liberating Jim, and acquitting uncle Silas of the murder charge),  it
seemed as if in Tom Sawyer abroad, the reader is in store for some broil in
Europe that Tom was intended to get involved with, and possibly solve a
problem.  Instead, the narrative ends abruptly and anti-climactically, with
a sudden curtailment of the adventure by sending Jim back to the other side
of the world just to get a pipe, leading to Aunt Polly's demand that the
balloon-voyagers return.  Was this ending intentional, or did the author
have a sudden deadline with his publisher?  Any ideas?