Summary of Events:
-Huck's pap returns and kidnaps him
-Huck fakes his death and runs away
-He meets up with Jim
-A house floats by and they plunder it.
-Huck sneaks ashore in a woman's dress to find out about the situation
-They set off down the river, and they have an adventure on a steam boat, get separated by
fog, and a boat hits them.
-The Grangerfords take Huck in, and he escapes.
-They save the Duke and Dauphin
-The Duke and Dauphin put on a play, then pretend to be a dead man's brothers, then sell
Jim and get run out of town.
-Huck stays with Aunt Sally, and pretends to be Tom and Tom arrives and pretends to be
-They set Jim free, Tom's way. Tom gets shot, the truth comes out and it turns out that
Jim had already been freed, as well.
Jim: Jim is an escaped slave that Huck meets up with after he breaks free of his father.
They travel together, and they come to like each other very much.
Huck Finn: Huck is a liar, and a very uncivilized boy, but he is strangely endearing. He
goes through a sort of metamorphosis through the book, and out grows his old way of
thinking about slaves, and comes out of the shadow of his best friend, Tom Sawyer.
The Duke and Dauphin: Two men that Jim and Huck pick up along the river. They are nothing
but stupid plot devices that Twain sued, when he realized that the book was going in a
direction that wouldn't sell very many novels. They are idiotic oafs, who will do anything
to make a quick buck.
Personal Reaction: (One student writes...)
I enjoyed Huck Finn a lot, but it had two very huge problems with it: the characters of
the Duke and Dauphin and the ending when Tom and Huck are trying to break Jim out of jail.
I have no idea why Huck didn't just push his majesty and the duke off the raft and
let them drown in the river. They were whiny and mean and were very rude to good
characters. The most unfortunate thing was that they were not characters I loved to hate.
If I loved to hate a
character, at least there's some feelings. I just wanted Twain to write these two out.
While Huck and Jim were adventuring down the river together, the book was very
entertaining and I actually looked forward to reading it. I looked forward to finding out
what would happen to them next. After the Duke and Dauphin came aboard, I just wanted the
book to move on.
The second thing that irritated me was the end. I felt as if the entire book was building
up to something, and then there was nothing. The main problem was the appearance of Tom
Sawyer to "save the day", but by then, Huck didn't need Tom to save the day. His
character had progressed enough that Huck could have saved the day all by himself. By
bringing Tomes character into the book, Huck takes a leap backwards. He was reduced to the
role of the dutiful sidekick to the childish Tom Sawyer. I believe the book would have
ended better if Huck and Jim had continued down the Mississippi and followed the Gulf of
Mexico around to Texas.
The very end also left me wondering, but not in a good way. Huck Finn made me very
frustrated. I wanted to know what happened between Huck and Jim. I wanted to know how Jim
felt about being free. I wanted to know if Huck and Jim were going to stick together. I'd
like to think that they will. However, the last quote of the book was very appropriate.
"I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally,
she's going to adopt me and sivilize me and I cant stand it. I been there
before." The last quote almost makes up for the poor ending. (Almost.)
At first, I had trouble with all the different dialects, but slowly I got used to them and
began to enjoy the story a lot more.
After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers and I was
in a sweat to find out all about him; but by and by she let it out that Moses had been
dead a considerable long time; so then I didn't care no more about him, because I don't
take no stock in dead people. (p2)
The the old man got to cussing and cussed everything and everybody he could think of, and
then cussed them all over again to make sure he hadn't skipped any, and after that he
polished off with a kind of a general cuss all round, including a considerable parcel of
people which he didn't know the names of, and so called them what's-his-name when he got
to them, and went right along with his cussing. (p25)
We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up
and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.
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. (p125)
And went on thinking. And got to think over out trip down the river; and I see Jim before
me all the time: in the day and in the nighttime, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms,
and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to
strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing
my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how
glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp up
there where the feud was; and such-like times; and he would always call me honey, and pet
me, and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I
struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard, and he was so
grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one
he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. (p214)
I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's
going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there before. (last page)