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Mark Twain
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The Gilded Age 1869-1871
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Writing Huck Finn
 
 
Title Page for Huckleberry Finn
Title Page for Huckleberry Finn
Courtesy of The Buffalo and Erie County
Public Library
Manuscript for Huckleberry Finn
Final Page of The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn
Manuscript

Courtesy Buffalo and Erie County
Public Library

“A book of mine where a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision and conscience suffers defeat.” —Mark Twain, Notebook, 1895

Video Real Video: 56k | 220k  
Jocelyn Chadwick,
“A Northerner Could Not
Have Written Huck Finn”


“When breakfast was ready we lolled on the grass and eat it smoking hot. Jim laid it in with all his might, for he was most about starved. Then when we had got pretty well stuffed, we laid off and lazied. By and by Jim says:

“But looky here, Huck, who wuz it dat ‘uz killed in dat shanty ef it warn’t you?”

Then I told him the whole thing, and he said it was smart. He said Tom Sawyer couldn’t get up no better plan than what I had. Then I says:

“How do you come to be here, Jim, and how’d you get here?”

He looked pretty uneasy, and didn’t say nothing for a minute. Then he says:

“Maybe I better not tell.”

“Why, Jim?”

“Well, dey’s reasons. But you wouldn’ tell on me ef I uz to tell you, would you, Huck?”

“Blamed if I would, Jim.”

“Well, I b’lieve you, Huck. I—run off.”

“Jim!”

“But mind, you said you wouldn’ tell—you know you said you wouldn’ tell, Huck.”

“Well, I did. I said I wouldn’t, and I’ll stick to it. Honest injun, I will. People would call me a low-down Abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum—but that don’t make no difference. I ain’t a-going to tell, and I ain’t a-going back there, anyways. So, now, le’s know all about it.”

Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, 1884

 
 
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