The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & King Henry IV Part I: Mini Reviews

So it’s been back to school for me the past two weeks, and I’ve had far less time to read for myself than I would like. I’m taking two literature classes this semester: U.S. Lit Since Realism and Shakespeare, and both are obviously pretty densely packed, reading wise.

The first book we read for U.S Lit was the American classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which I’ve read before, but not since high school. I though maybe I would enjoy more a second time around, but I really just couldn’t get into it. I do enjoy (like the english major nerd I am) all the *~symbolism~* and possible meaning behind the adventures, but the overall story itself just isn’t for me.

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Completely switching gears, I also read King Henry IV Part I for my Shakespeare class. We’re cramming SEVEN plays into this little semester, which seems like a lot to me? Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know. But anyway, this was our first one, and one I’ve never read before. I actually haven’t had any experience with any of the history plays, and this was definitely a good place to start. I ended up really enjoying Falstaff and his crazy antics, and watching Harry mature, and even learning all the terms that go with the play! (Again, English nerd. But FUN FACT: I’m currently re-reading TFIOS and HAMARTIA, one of those terms, was in the book and I was quite excited). Overall, It was definitely (pleasantly) surprising because I wasn’t expecting to enjoy King Henry IV at all really. I’m much more inclined to read the comedies or tragedies, or even Shakespeare’s sonnets.

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Luckily next we’re reading one of my favorite ever Shakespeare plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream! 

Some favorite quotes from Huck:

“Just because you’re taught that something’s right and everyone believes it’s right, it don’t make it right.”

“I couldn’t bear to think about it; and yet, somehow, I couldn’t think about nothing else.”

“That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.”

And from King Henry:

“Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere.”

“O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the Devil!”

^Not necessarily a favorite, but is Shakespeare where this quote come from? I had no idea!

How do you feel about these two? What have you been reading in your spare time?

4 comments

  1. Confession: I suck at reading Shakespeare. I’ve tried to read it for pleasure in a non school environment and FAILED. Which means I’ll be looking forward to hearing you discuss them, because then I can feel scholarly by proxy… Or something.

  2. I feel the same way with some books, particularly ones like A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I understand and appreciate the symbolism and meaning behind why the author wrote what he did, but story itself is not very entertaining or engaging. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way- usually when I explain this to people they look at me like I have three heads. 🙂

    1. Exactly! I mean it’s floating down a river for 300 some pages. I know it’s more than that but…it just doesn’t grab me!

      I do love Hemingway though. I’m disappointed we won’t be reading him this year. Have you read A Moveable Feast? It’s much easier to read and faster moving.

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