The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) is commonly accounted as one of the first Great American Novels. It was also one of the first novels ever written in the vernacular, or common speech, being told in the first person by the eponymous Huckleberry "Huck" Finn, best friend of Tom Sawyer. The book is notable for its innocent young protagonist, its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River, and its sober and often scathing look at entrenched attitudes, particularly the racism of the time. 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.
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