what do we learn about Huck from what he reveals of other characters' assessments of him?
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It was something new to have a 13 year old boy as a reliable narrator. Through Huck we learn the lessons that he learns. Through our own experience we can sort of Channel Huck. Okay maybe not channel him but at least understand the experiences in the context of a boy. Huck is kind of like Robin Hood without tights; he is a non-threatening rebel. Because Huck is a child, he can get away with things other narrators may not. This allows Twain to be candid and endearing at the same time.
Huck is a 13 year old boy who has a very different mentality then a 20 year old man. When we read a book through the voice of a young boy or girl, we are able to learn more about the individual just through their actions and words. However, if the author, in this case Mark Twain, narrated the book, we wouldn't understand much about the character or what they are thinking.
Therefore, Huck was the narrator since we are able to know eveything he is thinking, and the world is a different place in the eyes of a young person.