I think Twain did an absolutely amazing job of capturing much of the southern lifestyle during the early 1800's. Not only was this book a great example of how people felt about slavery and how black people in general were regarded in that time, but it also showed the relative lack of respect for life that existed. The book was a great example of the downfall that comes from pride and the power that can come from humility.
Tom Sawyer drives me crazy. I don't know if I will be able to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I probably will... The kid just got old to me. Over and over he has to make things so difficult and ridiculous because, "that is how it is supposed to be" because he has read about it in books and has such a crazy imagination. At the same time, I can respect what Twain was showing through this of how much ridiculousness there is in the world as a result of pride and tradition when common sense is overlooked.
In summary, I loved this book. Twain is a genius. The use of dialect and writing through the lens of Huck was very engaging and harmless, while teaching some very heavy and important lessons.