In 1876, the same year as the publication of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain began work on another boy's tale of adventure along the Mississippi. After deciding that Tom was unfit to narrate the book, Twain chose Tom's counterpart, the disreputable Huckleberry Finn. Huck was already well known to an American audience thirsting for more of Twain's brand of humor, and Twain hoped to capitalize on his recent literary successes. Despite the end of the Civil War in 1865, it was a tumultuous time for America. Southern Reconstruction had fallen into disarray, and a new racism of segregation and condoned inequality replaced the slavery that had been abolished with the Emancipation Proclamation.Twain's original intention, as he stated to William Dean Howells, was to take "a boy of twelve and run him on through life (in the first person)." In the aftermath of the war and the failure of Reconstruction,
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