Adventures of Huckleberry Finn-Book and Movie Comparison and Contrast

The “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is an 1884 publication authored by Mark Twain. The book has been read widely in America since its publication in 1885, and it has become one the greatest American novels. The story is a narration of Huckleberry Finn; the major character within the story. Huckleberry also features in two other novels by Mark Twain. The book is noted for its satire and colorful descriptions of events and characters. Perhaps the most noted theme that has at times raised controversy about the book is racism-highlighted through the black character within the story known as Jim.

Other critics of the book specifically note its use of a course language and racial stereotypes which had earlier led to its ban from various libraries. After successful years of readership, the book was finally adapted into a film. A comparative analysis of the movie shows that there are substantial parts of the book and details that have been left out in the production of the movie whose story is based on the book. However, this is a common thing whenever, there is an adaptation of any book into a movie, because there are interpretations and sacrifices that have to be made. This is perhaps because the entire written work cannot be possibly translated and made into a movie script.

However, after viewing the movie anyone can agree to the fact that the movie still retains the integrity of the story and adventures of Huckleberry Finn by maintaining most of the integral details.The books starts off with the story of the previous novel, highlights the background setting the novel, which is in St. Petersburg: a small town along the banks of Mississippi River. Finn is adopted by Douglas-a widow that is so strict and stern on him-after his mother’s death. Finn’s father is drunken man that later shows up to take Finn with the intention of acquiring the fortune his mother left him at the bank.

The story main twist begins when Finn’s father returns to town and successfully takes custody of Finn and all the money left for him (Bowers 31). He later kidnaps Finn and begins mistreating him, by locking him up in a cabin across the river from the town. Finn gets tired of the beating and getting locked, and he finally escapes to Jackson’s island by faking his death. While there he encounters Jim-one of the Miss Watson’s runaway slaves. The two hide on Jackson’s island. Jim has escaped because of fear of being sold to the south where he may be mistreated. Despite illegality involved, Finn decides to stay with Jim.

Despite the blissfulness of the island, the two decide to leave the island and travel downstream after Finn learns that Jim’s master may get information soon about his whereabouts on the island. After a long travel they first land at St. Louis where they encounter a gang of robbers and they manage to get away with their loot. Whilst traveling in the night the two miss the mouth of River Ohio and since they could not back track they continued south. While on journey they separate after a steam boat hits their raft (Twain 56). Finn finds good friends that take him in-the Grangerfords. Finns gets caught in the Grangerford’s feud with the Shepherdson’s but Jim re-appears and they take off. Finn and Jim later rescue two con-men pretending to be noblemen.

Down the course they hear stories of a dead man awaiting two heirs and the con-artists hear about the story and decide to pretend to be his heirs. Finn later saves the inheritance by stealing and stashing it away because of his sympathy for the family that he developed great fondness towards (Shmoop 37). As they travel on the two con-artists sell Jim to Tom’s aunt without knowing it, but lucky enough Tom’s aunt confuses Finn for Tom and thus Finn gets a chance to hatch a plan to release Jim. Later, Tom arrives, but after a briefing with Finn, he pretends to be his smaller brother. The two hatch a plan and during the escape Tom gets shot and Jim has to sacrifice his freedom to take care of him.

Later on, they explain that Jim was indeed free, and when Tom’s parent finally reveals the story he is let free. At the same time Finn learns that his father had died, and as a result Tom’s aunt offers to adopt him. But Finn declines and plans to go west as the books narration came to an end (Saddleback Educational Publishing Staff 23).The movie to the story in this book-“The Adventures of Huck Finn”– was produced in 1993, by Disney. The film’s script by Stephen Sommers keeps a faithful spirit of the original story. A lot on the author’s insight into the nature of humans and his satirical approach story telling is maintained throughout the movie.

However, whilst watching the movie any keen viewer may notice the chunks of missing parts especially; towards the end of the novel. In the ending of the movie Tom Sawyer does not appear as told within the story making a slight change in the plot when comparing the book to the movie. However, much of the rest of the story plays out the same way as outlined in the book. The impressive thing about the movie is the kind of realism that it presents in comparison to the book. Notably, less of the movie’s storyline takes place on the River than in the book (Sommers n.pag). However, the Mississippi River still maintains its importance and significance within the story.

The “The Adventures of Huck Finn” can be a good family movie although the movie may be a little more frightening than the book because of violence. But just as is true of the book, many parts of the movie can still be appreciated by the younger people. The children may enjoy the adventures of the story, just as much or more than the book because of the realism enhanced in the movie. Just like in many other cases of book to movie translation most controversial issues may get watered down.

The story of Finn deals with slavery both in the book and the movie, but the unlike the book the movie never used the term “nigger” and that is so far the only thing that was sanitized after the adaptation of the book into a movie (Sommers n.pag). Perhaps the producers of the movie were keen on avoiding eliciting similar racial stereotyping that characterized the book in its early days.Conclusively, the book is very similar in comparison to the movie, with the exception of a few exclusions of some bits which could not be avoided. Even though the movie was not a definitive adaptation of Mark’s work, it still maintains the integrity of the book to a great extent.

Works Cited/Bibliography

Bowers, Christen: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Literature Guide, Secondary Solutions, 2005. Print

Mark, Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Electric Book Company, 2005. Print

Saddleback Educational Publishing Staff: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Study Guide, 2010. Print

Shmoop: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Shmoop Literature Guide, Shmoop University Incorporation

Steven Sommers (Director),. Performers: Elijah Wood, Courtney B. Vance and Robbie Coltrane: The Adventures of Huck Finn, Disney Production, 1993. DVD