Huck Finn

Huck Finn

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Huck Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a well acclaimed book, written by
Mark Twain. It was written from 1876-1883, but the story itself is supposed to
have taken place some forty to fifty years earlier, back in the era of slavery.
The setting for this book is very similar to the place where Twain grew up. He
was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, but changed the name to St. Petersburg for the
story. This town was situated right along the Mississippi river which plays a very
significant role in the tale. Each character in the novel exhibits a certain
personality. Personalities of which Twain encountered while being a river boat
pilot for four years. The narrator is actually Huck Finn himself.

Chapter one introduces Huck Finn and the reader gets to know what he is
like. At fist glance he may appear to be only an out of control teenager, but
there he is in fact a very dynamic character, just wait until things begin to unfold.
Huck yearns to be free from all authority. His guardian, Widow Douglas, is
constantly nagging him to be “sivilized,” but this seems to go one ear and out the
other. He enjoys smoking, cursing, hunting and fishing. But she would rather
that he learn to be polite and go to school. The reader also sees in this chapter
that Huck is superstitious. This occurs when he accidentally kills a spider, which
supposedly brings bad luck. The chapter ends when he hears something in the
tree outside his bedroom.... Chapter two introduces Huck’s best friend, Tom
Sawyer. They both sneak out together, almost getting caught by Jim, the
Widower’s slave. But they weasel their way out of it by pulling a trick on him.
Which provides Jim with another bizarre story to tell, he always stretches the
truth. Both Tom Sawyer and Huck share the same love for adventure and have
great imaginations. For instance, they begin to create a plan to start a band of
robbers.

Tom pulls his knowledge of robbers from books he has read, so the
plan ends up quite extreme. He wants all of the robbers to actually kill the
people they rob, just because he read it in a book. Huck is definitely more
realistic than his friend and backs out of it. During chapter three we find that
Huck has been learning how to read and write. And he also begins to see signs
of his Pap’s return. His pap is the town drunk, who just wanders around looking

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for trouble. Worried, Huck goes to Jim so he can get his fortune read. Jim tells
fortunes with an old hair ball which proved that his Pap was back. So it wasn’t
that big of a surprise when Huck found Pap sitting in his room when he
returned home that night. There Huck is cursed at by him because he did not
tolerate the idea of Huck trying to improve himself by learning to read and write,
and dress all nice. Pap felt his own son was trying to be better than him. The
next day he goes to church to get custody of Huck, but Judge Thatcher, who is
new to the town, opposes it. So for a day Pap says he will reform, but that only
lasts until he can get a hold of another jug of whiskey. Huck continues to go to
school in the following chapter, even though he gets a beating every time his
Pap catches him going to and from the school house. Pap sees only one option
left. He will just have to kidnap Huck . So he takes Huck across the river to a
cabin where he locks him up every time that he leaves. But in many ways this is
not that bad for Huck because he does not have to bathe or be proper, he can
smoke, and when Pap is home they go fishing and hunting together. He is in no
rush to get back home until Pap’s drunkenness one night leads him to almost kill
Huck. This is when Huck begins to put together a plan to escape. He is able to
trick his Pap by making it look like he was killed in the cabin and dragged off.
Now Huck is on his way to Jackson Island which is across the river, by canoe. In
the next chapter it is revealed that Huck was successful at his attempt to flee
from his Pap.

So there he is alone on the island.. ...or is he?? Huck finds Jim
after discovering the ashes to his fire and together they put together all their
supplies and decide to stick by each other. One day they set off on their newly
built raft and came across a house just floating by. They both climb a board to
see if there are any useful supplies, some are found, but they also discover a
dead man. He had been shot in the back. Jim quickly covers the man up so as
not to let Huck see. After a few days, Huck becomes restless on the island and
decides to go back in the beginning of the next chapter. He is curious as to how
people are reacting to the news of his death. So late one night he paddles to
shore dressed as a girl and goes to a home where he knew newcomers lived.
The lady that lives there informs Huck that their are two murder suspects: Jim
and Pap. Some think Pap did it for the money that Huck has, but others believe
Jim did it since he ran away the same night as the “murder” occurred. She also
mentions that she has seen smoke over on Jackson Island and that her husband
was on his way over to check and see if Jim was hiding out there. This frightens
Huck and by his behavior, she realizes Huck is not the Sarah Williams he tried
to convince her that he was after all. After making up a wild story of exactly why
he dressed up as a girl, he rushes back to the island to grab Jim and get out of
there. The next chapter Huck and Jim experience their first significant
adventure during their journey down the Mississippi. This adventure began one
night during a terrible storm. Huck and Jim passed by a wrecked steamboat
and climbed aboard. On the boat they overhear a conversation between two
robbers, Jack Packard and Bill who are plotting to kill their accomplice Jim
Turner. Hearing this, Huck and Jim want to leave, but discover their raft had
broken loose in the storm. Luckily they are able to board the strangers skiff
while the bad guys remained inside the steamboat. Continuing their journey
they see they come across their raft, so they take it along. Following their
adventure, they realize the robbers got many valuable things from the wrecked
steamboat.

Among these were books, which Huck read to Jim. Many contain tales of kings, dukes, and earls. Jim is amazed by the concept of people speaking different languages. He believes if a Frenchman is a man, he should talk like a man. In the next chapter Huck and Jim realize that they must be nearing Cairo, where they will take the steamboat up the Ohio River, and Jim will be free. They encounter thick fog one night and end up past the town. So they figure they can just take the canoe and paddle up stream, but the canoe is gone. And then their raft is smashed by a steamboat. Luckily Huck and Jim jumped off just before it got hit, but now they are separated. Huck decides to climb
ashore...In the following chapter he comes to a house belonging to a wealthy
family known as the Grangerfords. Here he introduces himself as George
Jackson, and is invited to stay. The youngest child of the house, Buck is near
Huck's age and they soon become good friends. One day Huck discovers Jim
while delivering something for Miss Grangerford. Jim had been collecting
material and preparing the raft for them to continue their journey when he found
Huck. So Huck escapes and rejoins Jim in the adventure. The following
chapter, Huck overhears another conversation while collecting berries along the
shore. He hears two men being pursued by dogs. They beg of Huck to save
them, and Huck tells him they must throw the dogs off their scent. After this is
done, Huck brings them back to the raft where the two men tell their stories. The
younger one claims to be the rightful Duke of Bridgewater. And the older says
he is the lost King of France. These frauds then question Huck about Jim, and
Huck invents a long, dramatic story to protect them both. During the next
chapter, the king and duke begin to rehearse for a Shakespearean production
they plan on performing in some town along the way. They end up stopping at a
small town in Arkansas where a circus is already going on. The show the frauds
put on is three nights long so the two con men can persuade the audiences of
the first two nights into coming the third night. But after collecting the money on
the third night, they escape to the raft, and end up cheating the town out of four
hundred and sixty-five dollars. When they are back on the raft the duke decides
to dress up Jim as an Arab so they do not always have to leave him tied up
when they leave the raft. Also in this chapter they meet a fellow who thinks the
king is a Mr. Wilks, whose brother Peter Wilks just died and supposedly left his
brothers a fortune. Finding this interesting, the king asks this fellow all kinds of
questions like about his family, and other people that live in his town. He finds
out that Mr. Wilks had a brother who is deaf and dumb, so the king and duke
decide to go take the steamboat to this town posing as the Wilks' brothers in the
hopes of gaining this fortune. This plan is hardly pulled off though when the real
Wilks brothers arrive in town a few weeks later. Huck manages to escape back
to the raft, but he soon hears the king and duke behind them, upset that Huck
would take off and leave them behind to get caught. In the following chapter, the
king and duke are fearful of stopping at any towns along the way, but as soon as
they feel it is safe they begin to pull their little tricks again which makes Huck
and Jim rather uncomfortable. One day the king went ashore and sold Jim as a
runaway slave. After discovering this, Huck struggles with the many choices that
face him.

He could either write Miss Watson a letter to return Jim or keep on
trying to get the man free. He chooses the latter and finds out Jim is at the
Phelps plantation, not too far away. In the following chapter, Huck goes to the
plantation where Aunt Sally answers the door thinking Huck is her nephew Tom
Sawyer. Huck is reassured by this since he would be able to make up stories
better. Huck must go and meet Tom though at the steamboat and explain the
situation. Tom agrees to play along and becomes Sid Sawyer, Tom's younger
brother. Together in the next chapter, the two boys think of how they can free
Jim. Tom thinks of the ultimate plan of course that would take three times as
long to carry out compared to Huck's. But he agrees to follow Tom's absurd
plans to make the boy happy, but it ends up causing a lot of unneeded chaos.
Aunt Sally starts to find things are missing, Jim has to endure having spiders
and rats in his room, and there is a lack of time because Mr. Phelps will be
returning soon. The next chapter begins with the escape of Jim which does not
go as planned.

Fifteen men from town come to the house with guns, all
prepared for the "desperate men from the Indian Territory." They end up
chasing the boys through the woods when they hear their noise and shoot Tom
in the leg. Huck and Tom tell Tom he must go see a doctor. Following this
chapter, Huck is discovered by an Uncle and must return home since Aunt Sally
thinks he ran away. Jim is found and captured again and Tom is brought home
and explained to Aunt Sally their whole plan for trying to free Jim. And then Aunt
Polly arrives from St. Petersburg. So the boys true identities are at last
revealed. Jim is freed and tells Huck the dead man who was shot in the back,
that they had discovered on the floating house, was his Pap after all. Huck
decides it is time to set off again because Aunt Sally wants to civilize him and he
does not want that. So the novel seems to end as it began. Huck just wants to
be free and he seems to function as a much nobler person when he is not
confined by "sivilization."
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