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STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 36-39



Summary:

Tom and Huck go through various different antics in order to make Jim's escape more intricate and more adventurous. Jim doesn't really see the need to invent obstacles as Huck could simply steal the key to the shed, he nevertheless agrees to go along with Tom's ideas.

The boys begin the process by attempting to dig Jim out. When case-knives don't work, they change to pick-axes and pretend that they are still using knives. Next they steal candles and a tin plate so that Jim can write a message telling the world about his plight and then throwing out his window as they do in novels.

In the meantime, Aunt Sally gets very upset when she realizes that she is missing shirts, sheets, and other items that the boys have taken for their escapade. In order to confuse the issue, the boys blame it on rats. They also cause Aunt Sally to lose track of the amount by removing and replacing items while she is counting.

Tom invents a coat of arms for Jim to engrave into the wall. Since the shed has wooden walls, Tom steals a millstone so that Jim can inscribe his message on stone.

In order to make the setting even more ominous, Tom captures rats and snakes for Jim's prison, but some accidentally get into the Phelps' house as well.

Uncle Silas decides that he has had enough problems and that it was time to sell Jim. In order to stop him, Tom writes letters, signed a "friend", warning Uncle Silas that if he did this there would be trouble.

 

Review:

These chapters give free reign to Tom's creative ideas on how the boys should go about in freeing Jim. Huck is in full agreement even though the whole process is becoming much more complicated than necessary.


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