Is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the Greatest American Novel? | Teen Ink

Is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the Greatest American Novel?

March 23, 2011
By Ambluth1 BRONZE, Highland, Utah
Ambluth1 BRONZE, Highland, Utah
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

A simple story. A runaway slave and a young boy. It’s a captivating tale about two outcasts of society who escape from their home to find freedom from their predicaments, and for their souls. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as I have described to you above, is a wonderful story filled with adventures of Jim and Huckleberry, but it’s not much more than that. Although others may disagree, Huckleberry Finn is not the greatest American novel.

One of the main reasons that people believe that Huckleberry Finn is the greatest American novel is because the so-called “greatest American author” Ernest Hemingway said so. There have also been many others who have said similarly. And so it is that all of America has formed their opinions off the thoughts of others, like a child overhearing their parent’s political views. The “power of suggestion” is very prominent here. People hear how amazing Huckleberry Finn is and so they read it and lo and behold… they then declare it as the most amazing book! Who would have thought! People should learn to form opinions for themselves.

A major reason why The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is not the greatest novel in America is because nothing can be declared the “greatest” and be factual. Anybody who says that Huckleberry Finn is the greatest is simply giving their opinion. It is not fair for someone to give their opinion and for that thought to be declared the truth. Many people across the country say that because Ernest Hemmingway declared Huckleberry Finn the greatest American novel, it is. Well, who declared Ernest Hemingway the greatest American author? Huh? I would like some answers to these questions. It seems like a lot of opinions are being considered truth, and I think that it’s time that our country starts thinking for ourselves, and making our own decisions.

My last argument for why Huckleberry Finn is not the greatest American novel is because it is (put simply) just a plain story about a young boy and runaway slave. To get any meaning out of it, Mark twain has forced you to dissect the novel and pick every symbol and interpretation, just to ultimately get any meaning out of it. Although it correctly depicts American History and our dark past, it cannot accurately be called our “Greatest Novel.”

In the end, The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn cannot factually be called America’s greatest novel. I think it’s time for us simple-readers to stand up for ourselves. America has become the type of country that is demanding, meaning we want what we want, now! We shouldn’t have to dig, and poke around for answers and meaning, especially in a book (let alone our “greatest novel”). And if Huckleberry Finn is considered our greatest novel, well, I think that we should change our taste in literature.

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This article has 1 comment.

ranger291 said...
on Mar. 8 2015 at 1:26 pm
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn wasn't deemed "The Greatest American Novel" but rather "The Great American Novel." This means that it broke new ground in the sense of creating characters with different personas instead of having them all sound the same. Yes, Hemingway said something similar to what you "quoted" but he was referring to Twain's decision to use various dialects and how that influenced modern books during Hemingway's lifetime. Please do some research next time before you assume that it is just "the power of suggestion."

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