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Huck Finn Mapping Project

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Lauren L.

on 14 April 2014

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Transcript of Huck Finn Mapping Project

Episode One:
Huck Meets Civilization

Episode Two:
Huck Meets His "Fate"
Episode Three:
Huck Meets a Fellow
Episode Four:
Huck Meets a Band of
Episode Five:
Huck Meets a Family
Episode Six:
Huck Meets Roguish
Episode Seven:
Huck Meets Royal
Episode Eight:
Huck Meets Servitude
Episode Nine:
Huck Meets a Long, Lost
Episode Ten:
Huck Meets the End
"The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer I lit out." ~Huck Finn (pg. 1)
"He said he would show who was Huck Finn's boss. So he watched out for me one day in spring, and catched me, and took me up the river about three mile in a skiff, and crossed over to the Illinois shore where it was woody and there warn't no houses but an old log hut in a place where the timber was so thick you couldn't find it if you didn't know where it was. He kept me with him all the time, and I never got a chance to run off." ~Huck Finn (pg. 23)
Characters involved:
Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Jim, Widow Douglas, Miss Watson, Pap Finn, Judge Thatcher, Tom's gang
The story starts off with a young boy, Huckleberry Finn, in the mid-1800's on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River. He is currently living with the wealthiest homeowner in a poor town, St. Petersburg, named the Widow Douglas.
"Well, you see, it 'uz dis way. Ole missus--dat's Miss Watson--she pecks on me all de time, en treats me pooty rough . . . en I hear old missus tell de widder she gwyne to sell me down to Orleans . . . I lit out mighty quick, I tell you." ~Jim (pg. 43)
"By this time Jim was gone for the raft. I was just a-biling with curiosity; and I says to myself, Tom Sawyer wouldn't back out now, and so I won't either; I'm a-going to see what's going on here . . . Then in there I see a man stretched on the floor and tied hand and foot, and two men standing over him, and one of them had a dim lantern in his hand, and the other one had a pistol." ~Huck Finn (pg. 67-68)
"As soon as I was in the old gentleman he locked the door and barred it and bolted it, and told the young men to come in with their guns . . . They held a candle, and took a good look at me, and all said, 'Why he ain't a Shepherdson--no, there ain't any Shepherdson about him.' Then the old man said he hoped I wouldn't mind being searched for arms, because he didn't mean no harm by it--it was only to make sure." ~Huck Finn (pg. 96)
"It didn't take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn't no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing, never let on . . . If I never learnt nothing else out of pap, I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way." ~Huck Finn (pg. 125)
"To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin that makes calamity of so long life; for who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane . . . 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. But soft you, the fair Ophelia: Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws, but get thee to a nunnery--go!" ~The King (pg.
Characters involved:

Huck Finn, Jim, Pap Finn, Widow Douglas, Judge Thatcher
It was a dark and scary night... when Pap shows up at the Widow Douglas' in order to "steal" Huck away. Huck was taken to an abandoned cabin deep in the woods on the Illinois side of the Mississippi.
Characters involved:
Huck Finn, Jim, Pap Finn, Judge Thatcher, Bessie Thatcher, Tom Sawyer, Aunt Polly, Mrs. Judith Loftus
Huck escapes Pap and takes cover on Jackson Island. He hides there for a few days until meeting Jim, and then they decide to take to the Mississippi.
"Well, the men gathered around and sympathized with them, and said all sorts of kind things to them . . . and both of the took on about that dead tanner like they'd lost the twelve disciples. Well, if ever I struck anything like it, I'm a [negro]. It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race." ~Huck Finn (pg. 162)
"I went to the raft, and set down in the wigwam to think. But I couldn't come to nothing . . . After all this long journey, and after all we'd done for them scoundrels, her it was all come to nothing, everything all busted up and ruined, because they could have the heart to serve Jim such a trick as that, and make him a slave again all his life, and amongst strangers, too, for forty dirty dollars." ~Huck Finn (pg. 211)
"They hain't no right to shut him up! Shove--and don't you lose a minute. Turn him loose! he ain't no slave; he's as free as any cretur that walks this earth!" ~Tom Sawyer (pg. 288-289)
Characters involved:
Huck Finn, Jim, a band of robbers (Jim Turner, Jake Packard, Bill), ferryboat watchman,
Huck and Finn are on their way down the Mississippi, past St. Louis, until they find the ship wreck of the Walter Scott. It is a stormy night, but Huck is curious and talks Jim into going aboard.
Characters involved:
Huck Finn, Jim, two men on a skiff (John and Parker), the Grangerfords (Buck, Colonel, Sofia, Bob, Tom, Charlotte, etc.) , the Shepherdsons (Harney, etc.)
Huck and Jim are keeping their eye out for Cairo, though they think they might have missed it in the fog. It is late at night when a steamboat collides into their raft.
Characters involved:
Huck Finn, Jim, the Duke, the King, the townspeople of Parkville
Still on the Mississippi, Jim and Huck run into two frauds, the King and the Duke. Later, the conmen decide to scam the town of Parkville, Arkansas.
Characters involved:
Huck Finn, Jim, the Duke, the King, the townspeople of Bricksville (Sherburn, Boggs, Boggs' daughter, etc.), circus performers
The Duke and the King are on the raft practicing for a play they are planning to put on. They and Huck visit Bricksville--a small, mean town in Arkansas--planning to scam them as well.
Characters involved:
Huck Finn, Jim, the King, the Duke, a loquacious local (Tim Collins), the Wilks sisters (Mary Jane, Susan, Joanna), Doctor Robinson, the undertaker, Wilks' slaves, Harvey Wilks, William Wilks, Levi Bell, the townspeople
After making Jim a "sick Arab" so he can stay by the raft during the day, the King and the duke are on their way to cheat another village. A young man comes aboard the canoe and tells the King all about a recently deceased, wealthy tanner who left an inheritance behind.
Characters involved:
Huck Finn, Jim, a boy who saw where Jim went, the Duke, the King, the Phelps (Aunt Sally, Uncle Silas, etc.), the Phelps' slaves, Tom Sawyer
The Duke, King, Huck, and Jim are going further down the Mississippi in order to try and outrun the rumor mill about the Royal Nonesuch. After becoming desperate for money, the crew fall upon the town of Pikesville, Arkansas.
Characters involved:
Huck Finn, Jim, Tom Sawyer, Aunt Sally, Uncle Silas, Nat, townspeople of Pikesville, Aunt Polly
After agreeing to help Huck free Jim, Tom comes up with some outlandish plans for Jim to escape. On the Phelps' property, the boys try to find where Jim is located.
The story begins with a young boy, Huckleberry Finn, who had previously found $6000 worth of gold with his best friend, Tom Sawyer. Although Huck has a father, he is currently residing with the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, both of whom seek to "civilize" Huck with their fancy ways. During the day Huck is being educated, but at night he sneaks out with Tom to form a "gang of robbers." One day, Miss Watson attempts to teach Huck about prayer, but Huck finds that it "doesn't work" after not receiving any fishing hooks that he prayed for. Eventually Tom, Huck, and the boys stop their gang of robbers, and Huck gets pretty use to his new life until his father, Pap, suddenly shows up in his bedroom at night.
(chapters 1-4)
(Chapters 5-7)
(Chapters 8-11)
(Chapters 12-15)
(Chapters 16-18)
(Chapters 19-20)
(Chapters 21-23)
(Chapters 24-30)
(chapters 31-33)
(chapters 34-43)
The main conflict in Episode One is Man vs. Society. All throughout this episode, Huck struggles to adjust to the standards of living society has thrust upon him, and he continues in his ornery ways of a typical young boy.
More conflict: Man vs. God (Huck believes prayer does not work)
As the story starts out, Huck only knows of one way of living, which was basically to do anything he wants, but as the days progress, he almost gets used to life with the widow. He begins to tolerate (although not quite like) being educated and going to school, and he learns a lot from it.
Is the Widow Douglas being more harm than good for Huck (do the ends justify the means)?
Are society standards always ill-imposed?

In this episode, Mark Twain is satirizing both the poor and slave population by exaggerating their superstitious habits. He also touches on religion and its hypocrisy by characterizing Miss Watson as a godly woman who can't explain religious aspects well to Huck. Lastly, he criticizes romanticism through Tom's crazy attempts to relive the adventures he read in his books.
Some of the irony that could be noted in this chapter is that although Miss Watson tries her best to teach about God to Huck, she ends up marring his view of God. Also, when Tom messes with Jim and Jim thinks it was the work of witches, it could be considered ironic to think that if Jim had known that it was Tom, he might not have let Tom help him escape at the end of the novel (which would have saved him loads of trouble).
The End.
Slavery/Education/Learning Themes:
Throughout this whole episode, there has been the common theme of education and learning portrayed by Huck, who had previously been illiterate, going to school and getting more of an education. The theme of slavery has been depicted through Jim and his "adventures" with witches, as well as through his superstition and how Miss Watson treats him.
It is a frightening experience for the reader when Pap shows up unexpectedly in Huck's bedroom at night, although Huck himself seems to be unafraid. After finding out that Huck has his weight in gold, Pap goes to Judge Thatcher to claim the $6000 as his own. The judge refuses to give Huck's money up, but instead invites Pap over. Pap lays it on thick, saying he's a changed man, but ultimately proving that it would take a miracle for him to become a better person. In a furor, Pap sues for Huck's money, kidnaps Huck from the widow, and lights out for an estranged cabin. After several tries for escape and almost being killed by Pap in a drunken rage, Huck fakes his own death and makes a break for it down river on a canoe he found.
The main conflict for this episode is Man vs. Man. Even though Huck does not love his new life with the Widow Douglas, he's started to get used to it and does not want to live with Pap. When Pap steals Huck away, Huck quickly adjusts, but soon grows to hate being constantly beaten by Pap as well as being alone. So it is Huck against Pap in terms of escaping.
Before this episode, Huck has always relied on at least someone, whether it is Pap, Tom, or the Widow Douglas. However, after Huck realizes his desire to escape Pap's clutches, it is solely up to him to challenge his cleverness and secure his freedom.
Was Pap's attempt to be portrayed as a "changed man" a subtle hint of subconscious guilt he may feel towards how he treats Huck, his own flesh and blood?
Is schooling really necessary for Huck to survive when he already has the amount of integrity needed to escape his sly father?

For this entire episode, the main thing Mark Twain satirizes is the actions of drunkards. All throughout chapters five through seven, Pap Finn, who is as much an alcoholic as they come, does some pretty shameful things. He scams a judge in order to try and steal money from his own son (with the notion of using the money to fund his alcoholic tendencies, most likely), and then abducts Huck and abuses him in his drunken stupors.
In this episode, it is ironic that even though Huck never wanted to be educated, he begins to try harder at school in order to spite his father, who never wanted Huck to learn more than him. And similarly, it is unexpected that Huck's success in schooling unnerves Pap so much as to belittle him, when parents normally push their children to be the best that they can be. Later, it could be noted as being ironic that Huck, who at first enjoyed living with his father and doing whatever he wants, tries everything in his power to flee from Pap.
Slavery/Education/Learning Themes:
While slavery is not directly emphasized in this episode, Huck's captivity with his father could be considered a kind of slavery nonetheless. As far as education and learning goes, it is Huck's remarkable improvement in his learning that aids in provoking Pap (who does not want his son to be "better" than him) into kidnapping Huck.
After finding refuge on Jackson Island, Huck sees several people from town on a ferryboat searching for his body. He hides from them (mostly) successfully, and he spend several lonely days on the island until he comes across Jim, Miss Watson's slave. Jim explains that he ran away after discovering his owner wanted to sell him to another plantation, and much to Huck's disgust, plans to buy or steal his family out of slavery. With a burdened conscience, Huck agrees to team up with Jim, and they undergo many adventures together, from finding a dead body in a house to Huck pretending to be a girl so he could hear rumors about him and Jim. By meeting a Mrs. Loftous, Huck discovers that several man would soon search Jackson Island for the runaway slave (Jim), who is also thought to have murdered Huck. Huck makes a mad dash for the island, and he and Jim make a run for it.
The main conflicts for this episode is Man vs. Self and Man vs. Society. In this instance, Man vs. Self and Man vs. Society go hand in hand, as Huck struggles with his conscience of helping Jim. He knows he and Jim could help each other to freedom, but he also realizes that it is considered "wrong" to help a runaway slave, and does not want to be called a low-down abolitionist, which would be a complete insult to a Southerner.
More conflict: Man vs. Nature (Jim's snake bite), Man vs. Man (racing against the men looking for Jim)
Before this episode, Huck would most likely never do anything that would risk his reputation. However, after spending time with Jim, Huck is somewhat willing to aid Jim as much as he can although he does not want to be considered an abolitionist and battles his conscience on a day-to-day basis.
Is it more ethical to forgo what is expected of you and challenge your sense of right and wrong, or trust the views of the people who love you without question?
After coming within the vicinity of his close friends and people who care for him, is Huck's lack of empathy a sign of complete control over his emotions or not having any affection for those people?
In this episode, Mark Twain satirizes the slave and poor population again by describing how far Huck and Jim go in order to avoid "bad luck," or showing Jim's dismay when Huck touches a snake skin.
A few instances of irony in this episode would be when the villagers of St. Petersburg look for Huck's body in the river. They shoot a cannon in attempt to stir the water, which nearly kills Huck since he was so close. And afterward, Huck eats a loaf of bread with mercury in it that was used to find his body, which could have killed him as well. Later when Huck dresses as a girl and meets Mrs. Loftus, it is funny that he went through all that trouble to hide his male identity only to find that the woman almost immediately sees through his facade.
Slavery/Education/Learning Themes:
Slavery is mentioned in that Jim is escaping from his owner and is on his way to free his family. Education and learning is not directly mentioned, but Huck does seem to learn more about Jim and his culture in this episode.
Huck and Jim discover the joys of being free on the river as they make their way past St. Louis. One stormy night, they see a shipwreck off in the distance, and Huck wants to go explore. Reluctantly Jim agrees, and they walk right into a band of robber's business. After overhearing the robbers threatening to kill one of their own, Jim and Huck steal their boat (the raft was blown away) and leave. Soon, however, Huck begins feeling guilty for leaving the robbers behind with no means of escape, and lies to a nearby ferryboat watchmen and has him go to save them. The next day, Huck and Jim relax on the shore while reading books they looted from robbers. That night they were on the move again, with Huck in the canoe and Jim on the raft. It was foggy and they got separated for hours until Huck found Jim asleep on the raft, clearly exhausted. Huck plays a trick on Jim, but soon feels ashamed for making Jim so worried.
The main conflict for this episode is Man vs. Nature. Huck and Jim could have died when they are stranded on a shipwreck in the middle of a storm, and later they are separated by a thick fog and spend hours trying to find each other again.
More conflict: Man vs. Man (Huck and Jim had to get off the shipwreck before the robbers)
As the story progresses, Huck warms up more and more to Jim. In the beginning of the episode, Huck thought himself superior to Jim, disregarding Jim's wise caution about boarding the Walter Scott. Yet by the end, Huck learns to not only let Jim win in an argument (which shows an immense transformation in his views), but to feel ashamed when wrongfully deceiving Jim.
Was Huck in the wrong after trying and save the robbers, deciding that the Widow Douglas would think any life is worth saving, or were his motives behind saving them wrong?
Is Huck's evident remorse for hoodwinking Jim a sign of an imminent metamorphosis of his views?
In this episode, the author satirizes royalty, namely the French royalty, in Huck and Jim's conversation about kings they read about in the books they found. Jim is convinced that the French do not know how to speak properly because they do not speak English.
It was briefly mentioned in the beginning of the episode that Huck and Jim had been stealing things along the way, but soon feel bad about it. It is ironic that decide to give up a few items for moral reasons, yet continue to steal. Later on, when Huck decides to try and save the band of robbers on the Walter Scott, he ironically thinks his actions would make the Widow Douglas proud.
Slavery/Education/Learning Themes:
Jim's morals and integrity is shown a lot in this episode, which happen to be not that much unlike any white person with sense. Huck learns to feel compassionate towards a slave, which goes against everything he has ever known.
Huck's conscience bothers him more and more about aiding Jim in his escape until he decides to betray him when the chance comes. The two of them are on looking for Cairo when Huck decides to go ashore to ask if they past the city and two men on a skiff stop him. They question who else was on the raft with him, and with Jim's claim of Huck being his best friend rolling through his head, Huck quickly lies and says his sick father was aboard. That night a fog rolls in, and the raft is broken apart by a steamboat. Separated from Jim, Huck swims ashore and meets a family called the Grangerfords. After staying with them a few days, Huck finds Jim in a nearby swamp and witnesses an ongoing feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons. Huck is deeply disturbed when he sees Buck Grangerford and his brother get killed, and he runs off with Jim.
The main conflict in the episode is Man vs. Man, portrayed by the feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons.
More conflict: Man vs. God (both the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons completely disregard sermons on brotherly love)
Before this episode, Huck had been mostly shielded from traumatic experiences (like when Jim refused to let him see the dead body in the floating house near Jackson Island), and had never actually seen someone die. However, by the end of the episode, Huck is forever changed when he witness his friend Buck's death along with his brother.
Was Huck's quick decision not to betray Jim and act of compassion, or was it only fitting for the moment?
Is there ever a circumstance when it is acceptable to go against one's family's wishes, especially when knowing that family is likely to get hurt in the process?
In these chapters, Twain makes fun of family feuds by depicting how senseless the Grangerford and Shepherdson feud was. Everyone was fighting over an instance that occurred decades ago, killing off most of their families in the process.

The irony in this episode starts with the fact that Huck and Jim had only just been reunited after a foggy night, only to be split apart by yet another foggy night. The reader could also find it funny that the two feuding families stop their fighting during church, only to resume afterwards. It is also paradoxical that Sofia Grangerford and Harney Shepherdson eloped with each other, supposedly all for the sake of love, when their actions is what causes the near extinction of their families.
Slavery/Education/Learning Themes:
Slavery is illustrated in this episode with the Grangerfords having a few slaves. They "give" one for Huck to use, but Huck is unused to having a slave at his disposal. By experiencing the family feud, Huck starts to learn how standards or expectations (Grangerfords and Shepherdsons were expected to hate each other) others impose on a person are not always correct.
After continuing down river, Huck and Jim run into two peculiar people. One claims to be a Duke of England while the other claims the title of Dauphin of France. Though Jim is enthralled by their tales, Huck quickly deciphers that they are frauds but opts to keep the knowledge to himself to avoid conflict. The King and the Duke ask about Jim, and soon find a way to allow Jim to be seen during the day. The four of them stop at a town, Parkville, and go their separate ways for the day. The town seems to be deserted until they find the townspeople at a revival meeting, and the King quickly goes to work convincing them he is a retired pirate seeking donations to get back to his crew and help them reform.
The main conflict for Episode Six is Man vs. Man, in a way. Although the villagers of Parkville do not realize it, the King and Duke are on the move to quickly scam them and move onto the next town.
Before this episode, Huck feels free on the river--it is the only place he can truly be himself. However, with the new addition of the Duke and the King, Huck will soon begin to feel uneasy with them around, even on the water.
Is Jim's gullibility (by believing the two frauds are who they say they are) necessarily a flaw in every circumstance?
Is it better to keep one's mouth shut when the conflict is (seemingly) not worth it, or save oneself from a load of worry by speaking up?
Twain uses satire to criticize the naive attributes of society in this episode by using the Duke and the King to victimize a town of religious revival.
The irony in this episode is mostly that Huck thinks it is not worth a possible fray to bring to Jim's attention that the Duke and the King are conmen who are using them as a meal ticket, when if he had spoken up in that moment, he would have saved both Jim and himself worlds of trouble.
Although not much of a theme in this episode, slavery is briefly touched on when the Duke and the King figure out a way for Jim to be in broad daylight. Learning is reversely characterized through the townspeople being conned by the Duke and the King. Their gullibility and willingness to believe every sob story that comes along is the opposite of the theme of learning--it is more like a retrogression in learning.
Once done with scamming the town of Parkville, the four make their way to the next town in Arkansas--Bricksville. The reader gets the immediate sense that the town is a mean one; they torture and terrorize animals, do almost anything to entertain themselves. Here Huck and the royalty witness a town drunk provoking a fellow villager into shooting him dead on the spot, and an angry mob pursue after the shooter, Colonel Sherburn. Sherburn chastises the crowd, making them ashamed they even considered lynching him. Later on, the King and the Duke plan to put on a play for the town, and though at first everything was a success, they were eventually run out of towns for their scams. Once on the raft, Jim tells Huck about a time when he wrongfully hit his daughter and how he regretted it ever since.
The main conflict for Episode Seven is Man vs. Man. This conflict is illustrated several times, with Sherburn killing the Boggs, the town drunk, to the King and the Duke getting the best of the townspeople.
It is ironic that out of all the people that the royalty scam, the Bricksville townspeople probably deserved their deceit, yet the townspeople were the quickest to catch on to their schemes without any help from insiders. It is also ironic that Sherburn berates the townspeople for being cowards who would burn a strange women passing through at the stake, when he himself just killed a man simply because he was annoying.
For this episode, Huck is much the same before as his after. The only thing that really changes is that he experiences more of the shenanigans of the King and the Duke.
Is the reason the townspeople saw through the royalty's schemes due to their integrity or more of the fact that they easily recognize mean acts because of their own similar characters?
Did Sherburn have any right to chasten the crowd about cowardice when he was just like the townspeople as far as lacking the value of human life?
For this episode, Twain censures idleness, valuing human life (or lack thereof), mob mentality, and the cruelty of society. Huck and the royalty find a lazy, mean town that tortures any living thing that provides means of entertainment, and a man shoots another merely because he finds him to be irksome. When someone mentions lynching the shooter, they all immediately agree, acting as one mindless mass.
Slavery/Education/Learning Themes:
Slavery might be inadvertently mentioned in this episode through the way Bricksville values human life. It gives the reader a taste of how a slave owner might treat their slaves. Through Jim's story about hitting his little girl, Huck learns that although Jim may be black, he is no different from anyone else when it comes to loving his family.
As the four travel downriver, they come across a man telling all about a tanner, Mr. Wilks, with a large inheritance who recently died, and two of his brothers who are on their way from England. The King and the Duke decide to pretend to be the two brothers and visit the town and are welcomed with open arms. The tanner's nieces give their share of the inheritance to the royalty for safekeeping, and the royalty stay for a few more days in order to cheat the rest of the estate from the girls. Huck, pretending to be their servant, grows to like the Wilks girls and promptly resolves to steal their money back and hides it in Mr. Wilks' coffin. After seeing the eldest Wilks girl upset over losing the slaves who were auctioned off, Huck promises that everything would be alright and explains the whole ordeal to her and sends her off to keep her quiet. Not long after, the real Wilks brothers show up, and everyone is in a tizzy over "who's who." After much inspection over the brothers and the royalty, the townspeople decide to check Mr. Wilks' coffin for any clues of clarification. It is storming and the crowd is in such a hurry that after finding the stolen money in the coffin, Huck makes a break for it and finds Jim on the raft. Elatedly thinking they were finally rid of the two frauds, Huck's world comes crashes down when they catch up with them at the last minute.
The main conflict in this episode is Man vs. Man. Huck has to outsmart the King and the Duke so he can give the girls what is rightfully theirs.
More conflict: Man vs. Self (Huck struggles with whether to tell the truth or not)
Before this episode, it is unlikely Huck fully realizes just how cruel the King and the Duke were. He put up with their schemes for so long, but by the end of this episode, he just wanted to be rid of them and their abuse.
Is Doctor Robinson's ability to see through the royalty's scam any different than how the townspeople of Bricksville were able to?
Could the way the Wilks treat their slaves like family help Huck to realize his own conflicted feelings in relations to Jim?
Twain criticizes society's gullibility, mob mentality, and a little of the cruelty of society. The townspeople were so willing to believe that the royalty were the Wilks brother, and it was all to easy for the King and the Duke to steal from right under their noses. Later, when storming to Mr. Wilks' grave, the townspeople take on the qualities of one machine as they all demand both the real brothers and the royalty's (including Huck) necks in order to be rid of the lot, without stopping to consider that some may be innocent. A little bit of their cruelty shows through when they do not seem to care about possible innocence, instead they only want immediate punishment.
It is ironic that the townspeople were so quick to disregard Doctor Robinson's warning that the "brothers" were frauds, when, in fact, he was correct. It is also ironic (as well as completely unfair) that Huck, who was the one who warned the eldest Wilks and stole back the money, was caught up in all the action at the end of the episode and almost lost his life. And lastly, it is funny that the King and the Duke never once suspected Huck of betray them, but instead blame each other.
Slavery/Education/Learning Themes:
Slavery is illustrated in this episode through the Wilks' slaves. The Wilks are one of the only families shown in the novel who love their slaves like family and are distraught when threatened to be split apart. Learning is shown when Huck finally learns to stand up for what is right and tell the truth about the King and the Duke.
As Huck, Jim, and the royalty travel on their journey, they become desperate for food and money. Huck becomes nervous when the King and the Duke conspire without letting the others in on their plans, so he and Jim agree to ditch them at when the chance presents itself. They visit a town and as the royalty enter the local pub, Huck flees to the raft calling to Jim to get ready to go, but Jim is not there. Terrified, Huck finds out from a boy that Jim sold by the King to the Phelps, and Huck is distraught. After a long, drawn-out internal battle, Huck decides to "go to hell" for Jim and steal him back. Once at the Phelps, Huck is mistaken for Tom Sawyer, their nephew, and Huck slips out of the house to meet a surprised Tom on the road to warn him of the change of plans. Tom rashly agrees to help Huck free Jim, and he promptly pretends to be his own brother Sid. Later that night, Tom and Huck see the King and the Duke tarred and feathered by the villagers.
The main conflict is Man vs. Self or Man vs. Society. Huck has to inwardly battle to decide whether society is right in considering a black man someone's property, or if his subtle intuition that Jim is unlike any other man is correct.
Before this episode, Huck was still on the fence about his views toward slavery. However, afterward, he completes his metamorphosis into a young man willing not only to sacrifice his life for Jim, but his eternal soul.
Is Huck's willingness to go to hell for Jim applicable to Jim alone or does it imply that he thinks slavery in general is wrong?
Is Tom's sudden compliance to save Jim a sign of superior morality, or a lack of holding anything of value (like Huck once held society's standards)?
Twain satirizes the value of human life, mob mentality, and the cruelty of society. Aunt Sally does not seem the least concerned when a slave died aboard the steamboat Huck was on, and later in the episode, it is the mentality of a mindless mass that kills the King and the Duke. Huck realizes just how cruel humans can be to each other.
It is extremely ironic that the Phelps just so happened to be related to Tom Sawyer and just so happened to expect him, which makes it easy for Huck to lie. Then later, it is unexpected that Tom is agrees to help Huck steal Jim "just like that" when Huck struggled with that notion for the previous 33 chapters. Finally, it is ironic that Huck feels guilty for the King and the Duke's death when he had nothing to do with it and especially after all that they had put Jim and him through.
Slavery/Education/Learning Themes:
In this episode, slavery is clearly shown with the Phelps' slave and Jim being sold to them for a reward. Huck learns that morality and friendship trumps society's standards and plans to rescue Jim.
Huck and Tom quickly discover where Jim is being kept, and although his escape could be "fast and furious," Tom concludes that it is all too easy and romanticizes an entire escape plan. Through the next few weeks he, with Huck by his side, torture Jim by putting him through numerous experiences that try his patience, and it is all for Tom to play a game. Finally when it is time to free Jim, the family's nerves are in tatters, and from the helpful hint from a "nonamous letter" from the boys, they know Jim will be broken free by a gang that night. So they have armed farmers from all over town aid them in keeping Jim in captivity, who nearly kill Jim and the boys as they escape. Tom is shot in the leg, and Jim refuses to go any farther until he is tended to by a docter, risking his own freedom. Later, Tom, Huck, and Jim are back at the Phelps, and Jim is treated less than human when Tom comes out with the truth of who he and Huck really are, and that Jim was free the entire time because Miss Watson passed away and set Jim free in her will. After everything is settled, Jim and Huck split ways, Jim a free man gone to buy his family, and Huck to the Indian Reservations where no one could "civilize" him.
The main conflict is Man vs. Man. Although it is not direct conflict, Huck and Tom terrorize Jim with their crazy antics. Then later Jim is abused by his captors, and it is up to Huck and Tom to set things straight.
Before this episode, Huck just reached the thrilling conclusion that he would go to hell for Jim, only to regress and practically torment Jim with Tom's initiative. However, by the end of the episode, after everything was said and done, Huck did help to set Jim free, and he is changed forever by his journey.
Is Huck's blindness to Tom's nonsense due to his obvious idolatry of Tom or the fact that he lost months of childhood ventures and subliminally sought to "fill the void"?
Did discovering the true reason behind Tom's compliance to free Jim ameliorate Huck's recent loss of respect for Tom or make it worse?
Twain once again satirizes mob mentality and the cruelty of society, but also the Romantic Era and Literature. When the farmers are hot on Huck, Tom, and Jim's tail, their mob-like and careless actions make it hard for them to tell a child apart from a common thief and shoot Tom in the leg (regardless if it was dark). Then when Jim was captured for a second time, he was cruelly treated even though he had saved Tom. Finally, all throughout the episode, Tom tries to reenact scenes from Romantic Literature with Huck, agonizing Jim in the process.
The biggest ironic moment of all in this episode--in the entire novel, actually--is that Huck and Jim underwent such a long, tiresome journey filled with both tears and laughter, all for the ultimate sake of setting Jim free, only to find that Jim was free the entire time. Other ironic moments consist of Jim sacrificing his freedom to save a boy who tortured him, only to be treated worse than before, and Huck spending so long trying to escape being civilized only to have to flee again from Aunt Sally.
Slavery/Education/Learning Themes:
Slavery is shown through the Phelps' slaves and how horribly Jim is treated at the end of the novel. This is, perhaps, the first time the reader gets a true glimpse of how slavery was back at that time. Learning is illustrated through Huck undergoing a long metamorphosis throughout the entire novel, finally being completed in this episode.
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