Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper
The novel begins with Huck himself writing the story. He briefly describes what has
happened to him since “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. Huck was adopted by the Widow
Douglas and Miss Watson, both of whom took pains to raise him properly. Dissatisfied with his
new life, Huck runs away. Tom Sawyer manages to bring Huck back by promising to start a
band of robbers. However, many of them soon become bored with the make-believe battles
and so the band falls apart.
Pa returns to find Huck and his money. Judge Thatcher and the Widow try to gain
court custody of Huck, but a new judge in town refuses to separate Huck from Pa. Huck soon
decides to escape after Pa starts to frequently beat him. After running away Huck runs into his
old friend Jim, who was Miss Walton’s slave, before he decided to run away. Jim is frightened
at first, believing Huck to be dead, but soon is happy to have a companion.
The river starts rising, and at one point an entire house floats past the island. Huck and
Jim climb aboard to see what they can salvage. They find a dead man lying in the corner of the
house, and Jim goes over to look. Jim realizes that the dead man is Pa, and he carefully refuses
to tell Huck who it is.
Using a large raft, they float downstream during the nights and hide during the days. Jim
and Huck continue floating downstream, becoming close friends in the process.
Huck rescues two con-men named Huck and “the King”. Farther down the river the
King and Duke sell Jim into slavery. Huck decides to rescue Jim, and daringly walks up to the
house where Jim is being kept. Luckily, the house is owned by none other than Tom Sawyer’s
Aunt Sally. Huck immediately pretends to be Tom. When Tom arrives, he pretends to be his
younger brother Sid Sawyer. Together he and Huck contrive how to help Jim escape from his
“prison,” an outdoor shed. That night they get Jim and start to run away. The local farmers follow
them. Huck, Jim, and Tom manage to escape, but Tom gets shot in the leg by a farmer.
At this point Aunt Polly appears, having traveled all the way down the river. She
realized there was something wrong when her sister wrote her that both Tom and Sid had
arrived. Aunt Polly tells them that Jim is indeed a free man, because the Widow passed away
and freed him in her will.
Jim then tells Huck to stop worrying about his Pa. He reveals to Huck that the dead
man on the floating house was in fact Huck’s Pa. Huck then concludes the novel by stating that
he would never have undertaken the book had he known it would take so long to write it.