This is another book report that I did in high school. This one is for the senior year. The weird thing is that all of my classmates did short stories, and I was given that sole distinction of working on a novel.
It was frustrating at first. You know how it is when high school is about to end. Too many projects, one for this class, another one for that class. Matters were made worse because during that time, I was working as a service crew at McDonald’s. So how was I able to get through it?
Inspiration. Me and my senior English teacher were not in good terms because I was not always in class, thanks to those extracurricular activities that I was doing. But the trust that she gave me was more than enough for me to ward off all the pressure.
Still, I wasn’t selected for Best in English. I always wonder why.
I read this in haste, but I made sure that each sentence was understood. However, this was not an easy task because of the dialogue. The local accent was used, so I had to read aloud during such dialogues for me to get a good grasp of it. The plot is not really difficult. There was a cartoon series shown in one of the local television channels here in the Philippines, so that made things easier.
Since this novel depicts the adventures of Huck Finn, it is a really nice read. There is a lot of action going on as Huck and the black man he was with are sailing down the river. Looking further down the surface though, it reflects the recurring theme of slavery. Whites and blacks, stuff like that.
Why they traveled down the river, that I don’t remember. When I try to recall the plot of this book, I am more reminded of the cartoon series than the book itself. Thus, the book is a means for me to understand what the author’s intention is in coming up with such a novel.
Slavery is a word that makes me shudder. I cannot imagine how it is like to live in a period where slaves are everywhere. I always cringe at such novels. I may be a cynic, but I also have an unwavering hope for world peace. I cannot bring myself to let that hope fade because if I do, it will kill my spirit.
This novel, for me, is a constant reminder of that hope. I think Twain achieved his purpose.
Furthermore, I think this novel has been banned for some reasons. One is for the violence contained in it. There are some instances when Huck Finn acts aggressively towards his slave, but in the end, their friendship takes over. I think it has something more to do with Huck’s personality than with the general attitude of the people during that time towards the black people. And that only made Twain more effective in showing the world what a horrible world was it for the black people then.
Which brings us to a point: are black people today, or colored people in general, free from discrimination? There are a lot of novels surfacing now and then about the black repression, and that is a sign that discrimination is still rampant. It will always be a recurring, classic theme that can always be enjoyed and reflected on at the same time.
When I submitted my book report for this novel, my moderator for the high school publication was so impressed that she wanted to have her own copy. Well, I do not give myself all the credit for it because there was this website that helped me so much in finishing that book report. I was only given two weeks to finish the report, and being the busy person and slow reader that I am, two weeks was not enough. So I researched. I compiled what I found, and voilà, a book report.
This must be the reason I did not get the Best in English award, don’t you think?
Anyway, I felt guilty about it. My English teacher somehow trusted me, so to somehow cleanse myself, I read the novel wholeheartedly. Then I requested my English teacher to hand me back my report so that I could make my own edits. Good thing she allowed me to do so. I somehow rewrote it, rewrote meaning I reread the book report, removed the things that I didn’t agree with, and added my own insights here and there.
I was happy with what I submitted.