Huckleberry Finn Essay, Research Paper
Huckleberry Finn – (narrator and protagonist) nickname is Huck. Huck is fourteen years old, his dad is a drunk. He lives in St. Petersburg, Missouri. Later kidnapped by father, Pap, and taken away. Huck then fakes his own death to escape. He later meets Jim on Jackson’s Island.
Jim – Jim was a slave who escaped from his owner Miss Watson, who was considering selling him. He meets up with Huck on Jackson’s Island. They then became friends and traveled around together, helping one another achieve their goals. Jim left his wife and two children. Huck learns a lot from Jim because he is very morally strong person, and Huck realizes that he is a very good person, even though he is black.
Tom Sawyer – Huck’s best friend. They are basically the same person, the have the same moral’s and basically the same personality. Tom also is the protagonist of a book, which is a story about him, Tom Sawyer.
Dauphin and The Duke – These two can basically be seen as one character, they basically share a brain. The Duke is supposed to be somewhere around 30 years old. Dauphin is also referred to as “The King.” The two got the reputation of being bad when they separated a slave family, and sold Jim.
Pap – (Huck’s father) Huck ran away from his father because he is the town drunk, and also kidnapped him and took him away. His father dresses like a scrub, he where’s dirty clothes, and doesn’t bother to change them. His father is also illiterate, which just adds to Huck’s huge embarrassing failure of a father. Huck fakes his death and runs away from his “Pap.”
Judge Thatcher – The Judge is in charge of the money that Tom and Huck won. (that happened at the end of Tom Sawyer) When Pap comes back to town, he signs all the money over to Judge and his daughter, Bessie.
Aunt Polly – She is Tom’s legal guardian and his Aunt. She becomes a important character at the end of the book when she has to identify Tom and Huck.
Widow Douglass and Miss Watson – Adopted Huck and attempted to sell Jim, they both ended up running away.
Author, Title, and Setting
The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin, by Mark Twain, is a very interesting book about the adventures of Huck, Jim and his friend Tom. The adventures mainly take place along the Mississippi River, sometimes on a raft, other times along the bank. They want to reach Cairo, where they want to board a steamship up the Ohio and into the free states, where Jim can be a free slave. They come across many southerners who want to start trouble with them, and start many controversies. They also have many problems on the trip, like the weather, animals, and the water for instance. “we couldn’t take the raft upstream” (Jim, page 97).
The story basically starts from the ending of Tom Sawyer, they got the gold from the robbers, which gave them each around $6,000. They then put this money in the hands of Judge Thatcher. Huck and Tom later signed the money over to the judge, because Huck’s drunk of a father came back to town. In the beginning Huck lived with Widow Douglass and her sister, who were attempting to make Huck very nice and civilized. He then became tired of sitting in the house and being civilized, and put on his old ragged clothes and left. Later in the story Tom and Huck were walking around a house, where Jim was a slave, and one of them fell and made a noise. Jim talked with them and they told him to say it was witches. Jim later became a sort of celebrity for this, because he enjoyed telling the stories to everyone. Tom and Huck then meet up with a couple of their friends and set sail to the cave, where Tom wants to set up a band of robber’s that he wants to call “Tom Sawyer’s Gang.” The town gets word that someone’s body has been found in the river, and by the look of the person, who was wearing ragged clothes and very dirty, was said to be Huck’s father. Huck relieved at first starts to doubt everyone about his fathers death. Huck starts adjusting to his new life, in fact is starting to do better in school. Pap does come back, and in fact was not dead, and threatens Huck because he does not want him to be the first person in his family to be able to read. Huck’s father goes into yet another drinking binge and one day kidnaps Huck and takes him away. Huck then fakes his death to get away, which he did very well. “GIT up! What you ‘bout?” (Pap, page 38). Later Huck awaits for the moon to rise, at that time he plans to take off for his destination, Jackson’s Island, but accidentally he falls asleep. He later wakes up to see Pap row by. Huck carefully sees him and doesn’t make a noise, then he slowly sets off to Jackson’s Island carefully not to be seen. Later when Huck is at Jackson’s Island, he sees a boat pass by with Pap and many of his friends on board, all of whom are discussing the murder. They shoot cannon over to the Island sending mercury filled loaves of bread hoping Huck will eat it and they will find his dead corpse rinsed up on shore from being poisoned. Huck is careful not to be seen, and eats it. Huck is then found by a man, who thankfully called off the dogs. Huck lies to him and says his name is George Jackson. Then he takes Huck to a house, which he said was his, and gets help from a boy named Buck, who is the same age and gives Huck some clothes. He then moves in with the Grangerford family for a little bit. Jim, being black, many people ask him if he is a runaway slave, so in turn Jim and Huck had to travel at night. “Goodness sakes, would a runaway nigger run south?” (Huck, page 127) A mob charges towards Sherburn’s house, and someone gets on the roof and makes a very disturbing speech. Huck and The Duke managed to steal $465 and ran to the raft for a nice getaway. Jim is afraid of being tied up to the boat, and looking like a slave, so they dress him up so he can go around town without suspicion. Huck and the Dauphin end up getting in fight because of how Huck deserted him. Dauphin started to strangle Huck and thankfully The Duke came to Huck’s rescue. Huck starts to make his way back to Phelp’s house, when he gets near, a group of hounds threaten him, he is lucky because a slave called the dogs off, and maybe sparred Huck his life. When some local men come to Phelp’s house with guns Huck runs and warns Jim and Tom, who are in the shed. They make a getaway while being shot at, unfortunately Tom caught a bullet in the leg, and Huck and Jim try to find a doctor immediately. Jim becomes a free slave, who was basically free already; Tom gets fixed up and keeps the bullet in a watch around his neck; Huck meets up with Tom once again and they go on yet another adventure into Indian Territory.
Tom and Huck make a noise – While Tom and Huck are moving around Jim’s house they make a noise. Jim, covering up for them goes out and checks, he then makes up a story saying that it was witches. Later Jim becomes a celebrity for all the witch stories he has.
Huck’s Dad, Pap – Huck’s dad comes back to town, and tries to take all of Huck and Tom’s money. He tries to sue them. He later kidnaps Huck and takes him away. Huck fakes his death and manages to escape.
Pap Dies – Everyone in the town thinks that Pap died because a body was found in the river resembling Pap’s scrubby look. Huck relieved at first, is later disappointed because his father is in fact not dead.
Town’s People Try to Kill Huck – A bunch of people go on a boat in search for Huck. They give him loaves of bread filled with mercury to poison him.
The Moral Struggle of Huck – This whole faking of his own death is extremely hard on Huck. This has all affected him emotionally and it somewhat bothers him that everyone but him believes he is dead. The fact of his being out on his own is really beginning to get to Huck. The moral struggle could go on for much longer, and this could scar him and cause permanent mental and emotional damage.
Group of Men try to Kill the Group – A group of men come to Phelp’s house and shoot at Jim, Tom and Huck. They run and Tom gets hit in the leg by one of the men’s many gunshots. Tom quickly gets rushed to a Doctor where the bullet is removed and Tom decides to keep the bullet in a watch around his neck.
American Dream – This is a theme because Huck had a dream to be free, to rebel against his father, have money, and to be his own person, and have no rules or restrictions.
Slavery – I believe this is a theme because a big part of the book deals with Jim being a slave and trying to get free, yet when thought about hard enough, even Huck is a slave. I consider Huck a slave because he is restricted by his father the whole story, and that is not a free state of being.
Freedom – This is a theme because this entire book is about Huck, Jim and his group are all trying to escape the burden of being restricted. Jim, of course in more ways than others because he is a slave on the outside looking in, and he is very agitated about the whole experience.