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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

A retelling and analysis of events

Daniel Begemann

on 11 January 2013

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Transcript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Start -- St. Petersburg, Missouri The Mississippi River The Cabin in the Woods Inconvenient Occurrences The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Key Facts Separation and the Family Feud Adventures with the Con Artists The Return of Tom Sawyer and the Freedom of Jim Conclusion of the Novel Analysis - Satire, Prejudice, Hypocrisy and Religion Satire Prejudice Humankind's Hypocrisy Religion Works Cited Title: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Author: Mark Twain (Samuel Clemons) Plot: The novel tells the story of two young social outcasts -- a slave and a misfit -- who adventure along the Mississippi River Characters: Huckeberry Finn, Jim, Tom Sawyer, the Duke and the Dauphin, Miss Watson, the Widow Douglass, the Phelps', the Grangerford's, the Shepherdson's The novel is a satire that mocks the hypocrisy of humankind Setting: St. Petersberg, MO, and the Mississippi River in the late 1800's This leads to Adoption of Huck At the start of the novel, readers learn that Huck was recently adopted by the Widow Douglas after an adventure with Tom Sawyer. The Widow Douglass "Sivilizing"
Huck (Page 12) Huck has just moved in with the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, who adopted him. They are very wealthy and own many slaves at their home in Saint Petersburg, Missouri. Their goal in the adoption is to "Sivilize" Huck and thus commit a good deed. However, this civilization is hypocritical, because they are also ignorant racists. Huck appreciates their efforts, but is also frustrated by their rigid lifestyle. Adventures with Tom Sawyer -One night, a friend of Huck's, Tom Sawyer, lures him away from the Widow's house, and they meet up with Joe Harper and Ben Rogers. -They form "Tom Sawyer's Gang" -- the boys plan to engage in criminal activity, and if any of them reveal their secret "oath," they will be killed. However, the band's members are childlike, and do not understand how serious these deeds are. Tom Sawyer's
Band of Robbers "Every boy must stick to the band, and never tell any secrets; and if anybody done anything to any boy in the band, whichever boy was ordered to kill that person and his family must do it, and he mustn't eat and he mustn't sleep till he killed them and hacked a cross in their breasts."
-Tom Sawyer (Page 17) The boys do not actually follow through with any of their plans. They are described as chasing women 'with garden stuff' and 'charging down on hog drivers', but they are only pretending to be robbers. (Page 21) These silly games continue until Huck's father reappears.
"When I lit my candle and went up to my room that night, there sat pap - his own self!"
-Huck Finn (Page 27) Huck's Father -A middle-aged man who is bitterly jealous that his son is getting an education.
-His life is a failure. He is the town drunk.
-He tries to take money from Huck! (Probably for liquor)
-"I heard about it away down the river, too. That's why I come. You git me that money tomorrow - I want it." (Page 29)
-He manages to win custody of Huck from Judge Thatcher, who realizes that Pap is hopeless.
-Frustrated with the legal system, Pap kidnaps Huck and takes him to his cabin.
-When 'pap' gets drunk, he beats Huck.
-He keeps Huck in his cabin as if it is a prison.
-He hates the government because it took his son away Life with Pap -Huck behaves slavishly towards his father, which contributes to a growing contempt.
-His father abuses this privilege.
-On page 34,
"The old man made me skiff and fetch the things he got. There was a fifty-pound sack of corn meal, and a side of bacon, ammunition, and a four gallon jug of whiskey."
"I got the things all up to the cabin, and then it was about dark. While I was cooking supper, the old man took a swig or two and got sort of warmed up, and went ripping again." Escape! One night, pap is once again out of control. He calls Huck the "Angel of death" (Page 37) and says he is going to kill him. Huck decides to escape from his father's cabin. When Pap is not home, he saws his way out of the cabin, finds a hog in the woods, and kills it with an axe. He uses the blood to fake his own death by "Taking up the pig and holding him to my breast with my jacket." (Page 41). He then decides to travel to the nearby Jackson's Island. 'Pap' Finn's
cabin Huck and Jim Reunite -A boat passes the island carrying many townspeople who are searching for Huck.
-Huck hides on the island for several days before encountering Jim, one of his adopted parents' slaves.
-Jim overheard Ms. Watson planning to sell him in New Orleans for $800
-"Well, one night I creeps to de do' pooty late, en de do' warn't quite shet, en I hear old missus tell de widder she gwyne to sell me downto Orleans, but she didn't want to, but she could git eight hund'd dollars for me. (Page 50) -Huck and Jim find safety in a cavern on the island.
"We spread there with blankets inside for a carpet, and eat our dinner there" (Huck - page 55)
-A storm approaches and a house floats ashore. Jim and Huck investigate and find a dead man inside. Readers will later learn that this man is his father.
"De man ain't asleep - he's dead." (Jim - page 57)
-The boys begin to discuss their superstitions, in this case about snakes.
-Huck leaves Jackson's island and heads for shore. There, he finds a woman named Judith Loftus, with whom he ineracts under the disguise of a girl named Sarah Mary Williams. The woman soon deciphers his trick, but does not know his true identity. She tells him about Saint Petersburg's reaction following Huck's "death," and reveals that there is a $300 bounty on Jim. With that, Huck returns to the shore, and he and Jim leave the island on a raft. -Huck and Jim set up a 'wigwam' (traditional Native American shelter) and begin floating on the river each night, and eventually pass Saint Louis.
-Their astonishment at the city emphasizes their provincial southern attitudes.
-To survive, Huck describes himself as "Slipping ashore toward ten o'clock at some little village, and buying ten or fifteen cents worth of meal or bacon or other stuff to eat." (Page 71)
-When necessary, he also steals food. Huck rationalizes this when he remembers that his father told him "There was nothing wrong with stealing as long as you pay it back." Huck and Jim,
aboard the raft Incident with the robbers -Huck, in his usual adventurous character, says "I felt just the way any other boy would 'a' felt when I seen that wreck laying there so mournful and lonesome in the middle of the river. I wanted to get aboard and slink around a little." (Page 72)
-On the wrecked boat, Huck overhears two robbers, Bill and Packard, threatening a man named 'Jim Turner.'
-The men decide to leave Turner to drown on the boat while they escape on their own. Huck and Jim therefore choose to steal the robbers' boat to prevent this, but soon learn that their own raft has drifted away.
-When Huck and Jim find their raft in the middle of a storm, Huck goes ashore to find assistance for the trapped robbers.
-He finds a village and the local watchman, and improvises with a new, clever story about his situation to ensure his true identity is not revealed.
-Huck says that his family is trapped aboard the ship, the 'Walter Scott.' He sobs, "Pap, mam, and sis...they're in an awful pack of trouble...and if you'd take you're ferryboat...to the wreck."
(Page 78-79)
-The emergency rescue is a failure. Huck says "Pretty soon the ferryboat give it up, and went for the shore." (Page 80).
-Still, Huck and Jim find a considerable amount of useful items from the wreck, including 'storybooks,' which Huck reads to Jim. The Walter
Scott -Huck and Jim begin reading 'adventure books' together. Huck explains aspects of society that Jim is befuddled with, like royalty (Jim refers to a 'dauphin' as 'dolphin'), and foreign languages like French, which Jim cannot comprehend. -Jim and Huck begin to near the town of Cairo, where the River will split into two: the continuation of the Mississippi, and the Ohio River. They hope to enter the free states.
-Huck describes his plan: We would sell the raft an get on a steamboat and go way up the Ohio amongst the free states, and then be out of trouble."
-As they travel, Huck uses the same canoe he used to escape from Pap, while Jim remains on the raft.
-Soon, they enter a confusing haze in approaching fog in which Huck and Jim are separated.
-Huck fiercly paddles in an effort to catch Jim, but to no avail.
-He realizes that a "cut bank" (86) that he hit when he was paddling was in fact an island.
-To Huck's relief, he finds Jim sleeping on the raft after about thirty minutes of floating.
-Jokingly, he tries to fool Jim into believing that their separation was all a dream.
"You hain't seen no towhead? Looky here, didn't de line pull loose en de raf' go a hummin' down de river, and leave you in de canoe behine in the fog?"
"What fog?"
"Why, DE fog!"
(Page 89) Jim Sleeping
on the raft Versus Facts about the conflict -Jim and Huck Worry that they have missed Cairo and the Ohio River.
-Huck is disturbed by Jim's quest for freedom and coniders turning him in, but Jim declares that Huck is his only friend, which changes his opinion.
-Later, a steamboat apparently splits the raft in two, and, as far as Huck is aware, he made it ashore alone. -The Shepherdsons and Grangerfords engage in brutally violent behavior. Even the children are entirely consumed by the conflict.
-Despite this, neither party remembers how the conlict was started. In chapter 18, Buck, one of the Grangerford children with whom Huck develops a friendship, shoots a member of the Shepherdson family.
-Huck asks: "What did he do to you?"
Buck responds: "Him? He never done nothing to me." (Page 111)
-Buck tells Huck that he tried to kill him "only on account of the feud"
-The conflict is so engrained in the minds of the family that they cannot remember a peaceful time. Grangerfords -When Huck reaches land, he is found by a member of the Grangerford family. They immediately ask him if he has any relation to the Shepherdson's. Huck lies and says his name is "George Jackson" (spelled J-a-x-o-n) (Page 99) -Huck admires the Grangerfords initially when he describes the family and there house as "might nice."
-He learns that the family once had a daughter, Emmeline, who passed away. She wrote poetry, including "Ode to Stephen Dowling Bots, Dec'd" -Family members: Colonel Grangerford, Bob, Tom, Charlotte, Sophia, Buck -Huck attends church with the family. Sophia nervously asks Huck to find her a bible, and, suspicious, Huck shakes the copy and a note falls out that reads "Half past two." (Page 113). The audience later learns that she is romantically involved with Harney Shepherdson, the boy who Buck attempted to murder. -One of the Grangerford slaves approaches Huck following the church scene and tells Huck, "Mars Jawge, if you'll come down into de swamp, I'll show you a whole stack o' water moccasines. Huck follows and finds Jim, who tells him that he, too, came to the island following the ship incident, but the raft was fortunately saved by some of the Grangerford slaves. -Sophia and Harney run away, Buck is brutally murdered in a feud with some Shepherdson family members, and Jim and Huck return to the raft to avoid the surprisingly dangerous families. Shepherdsons -Not much information is revealed about the Shepherdson family, because Huck does not stay with them.
-Other than Harney, the family appears just as morally corrupt as the Grangerfords.
-They choose to engage in a shakespearean feud, but they have no memory of what stimulated the conflict.
-Only Sophia and Harney understand how childish the feud is. Fighting is
normal for the
and Grangerfords. -Huck and Jim float along the river for days.
-When Huck finds a canoe, he paddles to shore and finds two men who plead with Huck to be let aboard the raft.
-Huck describes them: "One of these fellows was about seventy or upwards, and had a bald head and very gray whiskers. The other was about thirty, and dressed about an ornery." (122-123)
-The younger man tells Huck and Jim that he is "By right a duke," while the older man declares "I am the late dauphin!" (supposedly Louis XVII of France)
-Huck knows that they are not being truthful, but does not tell Jim or the conmen.
-With regards to Jim, both men are curious as to whether or not he is a runaway. Huck says: "Goodness sakes, would a runaway _____ run south?" Town 1 -The duke and dauphin decide to put on a "production" of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet,' despite having virtually no knowledge of it.
-They enter a town off the river. The duke finds a printing office to earn money (Page 131-135), and the dauphin has a meeting in the woods in which he tells all of the townspeople his fictional life story, which, in this case, includes voyages on the Indian Ocean (Page 133) The duke and the dauphin Town 2 The con artists begin practicing their renditions of Shakespeare plays, even though it is blatantly obvious that neither knows the stories. The duke says "I haven't got it (Hamlet's soliloquy) in the book- I've only got one volume - but I reckon I can piece it out from memory." (137)
-They then begin reciting lines from 'MacBeth.'
-When they reach a town further down the river, they advertise their performance. Huck describes the village as filled with "Stores and houses that are most all shackly, dried up paint concerns that hadn't ever been painted. *Lynching Incident
-A drunk insults Colonel Sherbern. He yells, "Come out here, Sherbern! Come out and meet the man you've swindled." (142).
-This quickly escalates, until Sherbern shoots him in front of his daughter.
-The villagers demand justice, and declare that Sherbern should be lynched.
-The Colonel talks them out of it by saying that if they were acting as individuals, none would step forward. He says, "You're afraid you'll be found out to be what you really are - cowards." (147) -The performance is a failure. Only 12 people attend, and they all laugh at it. To attract more audience members, they advertise their next 'performance,' "The King's Cameleopard," with "WOMEN AND CHILDREN NOT ADMITTED." (150)
-The new play lasts only a few minutes and consists of the dauphin "wearing" nothing but paint. Though the townspeople find it funny at first, they quickly become infuriated. To boost their self-esteem after the scam, many audience members tell every person they know to attend. This only assists the conmen in terms of profit. -On the raft, Jim is frustrated, because he is constantly being left alone while the others take excursions. He talks to Huck about hus "Little 'Lizabeth," and Huck's sympathy grows.
-When they arrive at the next town, they allow Jim to venture with them, but paint his face and call him the "Sick Arab."
-At this stop, the Duke and Dauphin pretend to be British relatives of Peter Wilks: William, a deaf-mute, and Harvey. They meet their "neices," and "inheret" thousands of dollars, and Huck realizes just how terrible their behavior is. A doctor who knew the family correctly labels them as frauds, but one "niece," Mary Jane, says "Invest (the money) for me and my sisters any way you want to."
-The Duke and Dauphin become a part of the family. They continue to lie about their background. Huck tries to steal the money from the conmen and give it back to the women. He decides to hide it in Peter Wilks' coffin.
-With command of the estate, the duke and dauphin sell the property and slaves, devastating the family.
-To cheer Mary Jane up, Huck tells her that he hid the money in the coffin.
-At the auction in which some of the family's wealth will be sold, a mob led by the real William an Harvey Wilkes interrupts. The duke and dauphin do not forfeit, and accuse the real brothers of lying, because William broke his arm. He says "Very Likely, ain't it? And very convenient, too!" (193).
-The money is found in the coffin, and the crowd erupts. Huck escapes in the confusion, followed quickly by the con artists. Town 3 -After escaping, Huck, Jim, and the conmen arrive in a town. They become involved in a fight, and Huck escapes. When he returns to the raft and calls for Jim, "There wasn't no answer, and nobody came out of the wigwam!"

-Huck learns that Jim has been sold by the dauphin for $40 from a boy who he finds when he returns to the main road.

-He learns he has been sold to a 'Silas Phelps.' -Upon hearing of Jim's captivity, Huck is torn between - should he tell Miss Watson, Jim's owner, about this?
-He thinks that this is proper religiously, but thinks it is immoral. He says "All right then, I'll go to hell!" to illustrate that what is considered "civilized" is inhumane in reality.
-Huck begins to search for Jim and the Phelps' on foot. He encounters the Duke putting up signs for his horrid theater spectacle, and accidently tells Huck more about Jim's location. However, when he realizes he is releasing too much information, he tells him to instead search for "Abram G. Foster," who lives forty miles away. (Page 212 - 213) Readers learn that the Phelps' are Tom Sawyer's Aunt and Uncle. Huck pretends to be Tom and goes "into town" - in hopes of finding Sawyer and warning him of his new disguise. -Tom Sawyer pretends to be his younger brother, Sid, and the boys try to elicit a response that indicates Jim's presence. This does not work.
-That night, the boys take a walk outside and find the Duke and the Dauphin being chased by a mob, and then tarred and feathered. (Page 225).
-The boys determine that Jim is being held in a shed. (227).
Huck's escape plan: "We can easy find out if it's Jim in there. Then get up my canoe tomorrow nigh, and fetch my raft over from the island. Then the first dark night night that comes steal the key out of the old man's britches after he goes to bed, and shove off down the river on the raft with Jim." (227)
-Tom wants to dig Jim out of the shed!
-Tom is still very much a child, and wants the rescue to be similar to what he reads in his 'storybooks.' He is actually frustrated that the task will not be more difficult, so his 'plan' is not practical.
-Despite this, the boys begin digging. This is a failure on the first night, but the next night, the "Whirl in with the pick and shovel, and in about two hours, got the job done." (241)
-The boys then "determine" that the only way to set Jim free is to back him a "witch pie," which they make with various household products, which annoys Mrs. Phelps.
-Before Jim is rescued, Tom insists that his he make a coat of arms so that he can "go out right."
-The family soon learns that Jim is a runaway, because his former plantation owners have not made contact. Tom prevents Silas from selling Jim with another scheme. Huck entering the shed -It is revealed that despite the rescue, Tom was aware that Jim had in fact been set free by Miss Watson when she died two months ago. This is entirely new information for Huck and Jim.
-The Phelps' determine the boys' true idenities.
-Huck declares that he would like to travel west 'with the Injuns,' but will likely return home to St. Petersburg, because he is still a child.
-Jim is free. -Satirical elements are present throughout the entire novel. This first becomes apparent when Huck moves in with the "proper" Widow Douglas and Miss Watson. They own slaves together, but plan to "sivilize" Huck, who is actually more open-minded than them. An example of this is on Page 13, when Huck describes Miss Watson as "Fetching the ______s in and having prayers." Despite their apparent propriety, they fail to acknowledge what constitutes humane behavior. The sentence is almost a paradox, because prayer is intended to be spiritually uplifting, but is only that way for the two wealthy women. When the Duke and Dauphin reluctantly agree to take Jim with them into town, they agree to do so only if they disguise Jim as a "Sick Arab - But harmless when not out of his head." This illustrates both the prejudice of the Duke and Dauphin and the prejudice of Society as a whole. First, the Duke an Dauphin loosely use the term 'Arab' with little background information, and dress him to appear phyisically horrifying. This prejudice is due to a larger prejudice in southern society as a whole, because Jim cannot easily enter a village without disrupting the Con Artists' mission. If Jim were to have travelled with the white men without a disguise, regardless of that disguise's crude nature, he would have been the target of severe questioning and potentially violence. Hypocrisy is perhaps best exemplified when the Colonel is going to be lynched after a murder. He is quickly cornered by the townspeople, who demand he be hanged, but he manages to talk himself out of death with relative ease by saying that "You're afraid to be found out for what you really are - cowards." (147) Though this seems inappropriate, in reality, this is a correct statement. Had the man involved in the crime been African American, a lynching would have been inevitable. Many lynchings of African Americans in this era were actually for "crimes" of a degree far less significant than that of the Colonel's. However, because he is in a position of authority, the crowd quickly gives up. Twain was attempting to depict how quickly people can label themselves as "superior" or "inferior" to an individual or group. Religious hypocrisy is, without question, displayed by the Grangerford and Shepherdson families. Both are strict about church attendence, but are equally as strict about "defending their family" - or, in other words, murder. At church, Huck tells the reader, "The men took their gun along, and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall." (112). These families may appear radically different from most on the surface. However, Is violence towards slaves much different from violence among aristocrats? Twain uses the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons to suggest that there is no distinguishable difference. Whether one is a slave owner, a murderer, or both, they are defying the principles of what they are studying. Buck enters church with a gun. The riot Jim's 'disguise' Miss Watson Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Random House, 1996. Print. "Ideas Matter." Prezi.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2013. Daniel Begemann Daniel Begemann
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