Huckleberry Finn Chapter Summaries

Huckleberry Finn Chapter Summaries

Length: 1017 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Summary: Chapter XXXVI

Late that night, Tom and Huck, after much fruitless effort, give up
digging with the knives and switch to pick-axes instead. The next day,
they gather candlesticks, spoons, and tin plates. Tom says that Jim
can etch a declaration of his captivity on the tin plate using the
other objects, then throw it out the window for the world to read,
just like in Tom’s novels. That night, the boys dig their way to Jim,
who is delighted to see them. He tells them that Sally and Silas have
been to visit and pray with him. Jim does not understand the boys’
fancy scheme but agrees to go along. Tom convinces Jim’s keeper, Nat,
who believes witches are haunting him, that the only cure is to bake a
“witch pie” and give it to Jim. Tom plans to bake a rope ladder into
the pie.

Summary: Chapter XXXVII

Aunt Sally notices the missing shirt, candles, sheets, and other
articles Huck and Tom steal for their plan, and she takes out her
anger at the disappearances on seemingly everyone except the boys. She
believes that perhaps rats have stolen some of the items, so Huck and
Tom secretly plug up the ratholes in the house, confounding Uncle
Silas when he goes to do the same job. By removing and then replacing
sheets and spoons, the boys confuse Sally so much that she loses track
of how many she has. The baking of the “witch pie” is a trying task,
but the boys finally finish it and send it to Jim.

Summary: Chapter XXXVIII

Tom insists that Jim scratch an inscription bearing his coat of arms
on the wall of the shed, the way the books say. Making pens from the
spoons and candlestick is a great deal of trouble, but they manage.
Tom creates an unintentionally humorous coat of arms and composes a
set of mournful declarations for Jim to inscribe on the wall. Tom,
however, expresses disapproval at the fact that they are writing on a
wall made of wood rather than stone. The boys try to steal a
millstone, but it proves too heavy for them, so they sneak Jim out to
help. As Huck and Jim struggle with the millstone, Huck wryly notes
that Tom has a talent for supervising while others do the work. Tom
tries to get Jim to take a rattlesnake or rat into the shack to tame,
and then tries to convince Jim to grow a flower to water with his
tears. Jim protests against the unnecessary amount of trouble Tom
wants to create, but Tom replies that his ideas present opportunities

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Huckleberry Finn Chapter Summaries." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=101495>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Great Gatsby Chapter Summaries Essay

- CHAPTER 1 • In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since."Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had." He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that....   [tags: Chapter Summaries]

Research Papers
1404 words (4 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn And The Awakening Essay

- As it turns out life is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be, and for the most part human beings are particularly pessimistic people living in a constant state of fear. In the novels, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, and “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin, the main characters,Huckleberry Finn and Edna Pontellier, of either novel are absorbed in their own respective fears, which coincidentally are manifested into feelings of isolation, confusion, and rebellion to the point that they go through a series of dramatically, life-altering psychological change....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Research Papers
1615 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Book ' Huckleberry Finn '

- Perhaps the most controversial part of Huckleberry Finn is the ending, fondly dubbed by some as the Phelps Farm Fiasco. Directly preceding this is a scene where Huck struggles with himself, deciding whether to be “good” and turn Jim in or “go to hell” and free his friend. Dramatically, he chooses the latter -- casting aside his attempt to conform -- and heads to the Phelps farm in order to rescue Jim. However, once Tom appears, Huck and Jim both seem willing to play along with his ineffective, elaborate rescue scheme....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Research Papers
1696 words (4.8 pages)

societhf Images of Nature and Society in Chapter 19 of Huckleberry Finn

- Images of Nature and Society in Chapter 19 of Huckleberry Finn    In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain creates a strong opposition between the freedom of Huck and Jim's life on the raft drifting down the Mississippi River, which represents "nature," and the confining and restrictive life on the shore, which represents "society." Early in the novel, Huck describes how much he dislikes his life with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, who try to "sivilize" (1) him. He says "it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal and regular and decent the widow was in all her ways" (1)....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Research Papers
1312 words (3.7 pages)

Critics of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

- Critics of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered by many to be the greatest American novel ever written.  Despite this praise, Mark Twain’s masterpiece has never been without criticism.  Upon its inception it was blasted for being indecent literature for young readers because of its lack of morals and contempt for conformity.  Modern indignation toward Huck Finn arises from its racist undertones, most notably Twain’s treatment of the character Jim.  As is the case with many canonized yet controversial books, the biggest conflict revolves around the inclusion of Huck Finn on required reading lists of public schools throughout the country....   [tags: Adventurous Huckleberry Finn]

Research Papers
1432 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Huckleberry Finn is Not a Racist Work

- Huckleberry Finn is Not a Racist Work “All modern literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn,” this is what fellow writer had to say about this classic novel. Still, this novel has been the object of controversy since it was published more than 150 years ago. Some people argue that Huckleberry Finn is a racist work, and that the novel has no place in a highschool classroom. This feeling is generated because a main character in the story, Jim, and other slaves are referred to many times as “niggers.” When Mark Twain wrote this book, he was striving to show the general public that society was wrong in the past, that the way white people thought black people we...   [tags: Mark Twain Huckleberry Finn Essays]

Research Papers
1526 words (4.4 pages)

The Powerful Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

- The Powerful Adventures of Huckleberry Finn        When Samuel Langhorne Clemens first published his story, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he was criticized severely. On top of that, the book was banned from libraries and schools alike. The book was thought to be a bad influence on children because it represents the breaking of the law as moral, it recommends disobedience and defiance on the part of young people, it portrays churchgoers as hypocritical, and the most admirable characters in the book habitually lie and steal and loaf (Johnson XII)....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Research Papers
1595 words (4.6 pages)

Twain's Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Essay

- Research Paper on Twain's Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn      Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel about a young boy's coming of age in the Missouri of the mid-1800’s.  It is the story of Huck's struggle to win freedom for himself and Jim, a Negro slave.  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was Mark Twain’s greatest book, and a delighted world named it his masterpiece.  To nations knowing it well - Huck riding his raft in every language men could print - it was America's masterpiece (Allen 259).  It is considered one of the greatest novels because it conceals so well Twain's opinions within what is seemingly a child's book.  Though initially condemned as inappropria...   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Research Papers
2812 words (8 pages)

Essay on Huckleberry Finn

- When my high school English teacher informed our class that we would be reading Huck Finn, I felt a sense of indifference. I did not know a great deal about the novel itself; however, I had a desire to learn more. Although my lack of knowledge regarding the novel was something that I was ashamed of, I still knew that Huck Finn was going to be a fantastic read considering the fact that it was written by Mark Twain, an acclaimed authors of his time. I had also expected the novel to be full of adventure and entertainment, but the thing I did not know was that it dealt with the arguable issue of slavery....   [tags: Huckleberry Finn Essays]

Research Papers
1037 words (3 pages)

Huck Matures in Huckleberry Finn Essays

- In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a young adolescent's journeys and struggles are portrayed and questioned with Huck's maturation. Throughout the book, Mark Twain examines societal standards and the influence of adults that one experiences during childhood. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn have been condemned since its publication, usually focusing, especially in modern times, on its use of the word "nigger." While this could be a valid argument had the author portrayed Jim negatively, I find another reason to argue against the novel because it subverts the ideals that many parents wish to instill in their youth....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain]

Research Papers
1684 words (4.8 pages)

for greatness.

Summary: Chapter XXXIX

Huck and Tom capture rats and snakes to put in the shed with the
captive Jim and accidentally infest the Phelps house with them. Aunt
Sally falls into a panic over the disorder in her household, while Jim
hardly has room to move with all the wildlife in his shed. Uncle
Silas, not having heard back from the plantation from which the
leaflet said Jim ran away, plans to advertise Jim as a captured
runaway in the New Orleans and St. Louis newspapers—the latter of
which would surely reach Miss Watson in St. Petersburg. Tom, partly to
thwart Silas and partly because the books he has read say to do so,
puts the last part of his plan into action, writing letters from an
“unknown friend” that warn of trouble to the Phelpses. The letters
terrify the family. Tom finishes with a longer letter pretending to be
from a member of a band of desperate gangsters who are planning to
steal Jim. The letter’s purported author claims to have found
religion, so he wishes to offer information to help thwart the theft.
The letter goes on to detail when and how the imaginary thieves will
try to seize Jim.

Analysis: Chapters XXXVI–XXXIX

In these chapters, Tom, Huck, and Jim revert, in many ways, to the
roles they played at the beginning of the novel. Tom once again gets
caught up in his romantic ideas of valiantly rescuing Jim, which,
though humorous, are frustrating when we see how long they delay Jim’s
escape. Tom gets so enmeshed in his imagination that he and Huck
almost forget why they are going to so much trouble. Huck, for his
part, reverts to the same follower status in relation to Tom that he
held at the beginning of the novel. Normally the voice of reason and
conscience in his dealings with Tom, Huck seems to have totally
forgotten his principles and his friendship with Jim. Both Tom and
Huck get so enthralled in their game that they seem to forget that Jim
is a human being. To the boys, he becomes almost an object or a prop,
to the extent that they even ask him in all seriousness to share his
quarters with snakes and rats. Imprisoned in the shed, Jim is just as
captive and powerless as he was before he originally escaped.

The return of this old dynamic between the boys and Jim clouds our
view of the boys and of Huck’s development in particular. Indeed, it
seems in many ways that Huck, in his decision to follow Tom’s plans,
forgets many of the lessons he has learned with Jim on the raft. In a
sense, Tom and Huck, in their manipulations of Jim, descend to the
level of those who own or trade slaves. The boys’ thoughtlessness and
callousness contrast with the behavior of Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas,
who, though themselves slave owners, frequently visit and pray with
Jim. At the same time, however, Sally and Silas plan to return Jim to
a life of imprisonment and cruelty, while the boys, despite their
toying with Jim, are nevertheless trying to free him. This moral
confusion becomes even deeper when we see how the boys dupe and
victimize Aunt Sally as much as Jim. In the end, the moral confusion
evident in these characters’ interaction is so great that Twain leaves
us with little basis upon which to make any substantive judgment.
Return to 123HelpMe.com