“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the only one of Mark Twain’s various books which can be called a masterpiece.”

T. S. Eliot
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ is a novel penned by Mark Twain as a sequel to ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’. It is much more than a childrens’ story, often accepted as a satire on the attitudes of racism and the never ending race towards civilization. ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ is considered one among the Great American novels written in vernacular English.

At Widow Douglas’ House 🏡

“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” .

Huck | Chapter 1 | The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Mark Twain
Widow Douglas and Huck from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Huck is tamed by Widow Douglas and her strict sister Miss Watson. He is admitted to a school 🚸. But as any child, Huck hates going to school 🤭. He hates all punctual habits and finds no meaning in reading the Bible everyday.

The Band of Robbers

Huck and his friend Tom Sawyer team up with a group of friends and form a band of robbers. Will they commit robbery and murder? Nope! They take oaths 👍, sign the oaths with their blood but never go for actions. They just fabricate stories directed by themselves.

Is Pap Dead?

The Adventures of Huckleberry of Huckleberry | Mark Twain
Pap beating Huck from the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Pap is Huck’s alcoholic father who never thinks of his son. But he never forgets to beat him whenever Huck is around. Finally, Huck is relieved to hear the death of his father. Paradoxical!! A happy-dead situation 🙄. But can this be confirmed? Has Huck escaped from the violence of his father forever 🤨?

The Nightmare 😟

Huck is shocked 😲 to see his father’s footprints 👣 in the snow as he goes to school one winter morning. Huck confirms the motive for his father’s arrival: to snatch his savings 💰. Never!!! He is not ready to give away his savings.

Huck finds a way…. He runs to Judge Thatcher and makes a deal🤝. He is assured to pay Thatcher $1 for his property. They sign the agreement. And as expected, Huck’s father was waiting for him in his room that evening.

Pap vs Widow Douglas

Pap who wants to get Huck’s money is restricted to it by Widow Douglas and Judge Thatcher. They file a case to get the custody of Huck while Pap files a case to get Huck’s money. A new judge arrives in the scene, tries to reform Pap but fails 👎.

Huck is Kidnapped

Pap is restless to get the money. He tries many ways but finally he kidnaps Huck and locks him in a wooden cabin across the river of Illinois. To our astonishment, Huck is happy with his father for the first time.

“What’s the use you learning to do right, when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble
to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?”

Huck | Chapter 16 | The ADVENTURES of Huckleberry Finn

He is free from learning maths, doing and practicing the civilised actions of a man. He enjoys fishing 🎣, hunting 🏹 and his freedom in his new place. But this ends soon as Pap starts beating him again. Pap locks Huck whenever he goes out. Huck feels the necessity to escape from him.

Huck Escapes

Huck plans his escape even though one fails as he falls asleep. Huck pulls a drifting canoe 🛶 while fishing and hides it for his escape. As his father goes to town, Huck loads his canoe with the necessary tools 🛠. He also fabricates his own murder to prevent his father following him.

He shoots a wild pig splattering its blood around and leaves a bloody axe nearby. He sticks some of his hair to it and moves towards Jackson Island…

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Begins…

He lands on the Jackson island 🏝 and spends three days in solitude. But Huck is scared as he comes across a smoking campfire. Who’s there? Has Pap followed him? Sssh 🤫… and follow to know who is there with Huck in the Jackson island.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Mark Twain
Jim and Huck from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Huck is curious and frightened to know who is with him on the island. Finally, he meets Jim, the slave of Miss Watson and is relieved 😌. He has escaped from Miss Watson as she has decided to sell him to a slave trader. He resists it as he will be separated from his family.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Mark Twain
Jim and Huck from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Huck and Jim become friends and decide to protect each other. They set up their camp in a cave as it is storming outside flooding several parts of the island. They set to explore as storm 🌪️ passess. They find a floating wooden house in which Jim climbs, finding a dead man shot in his back. Jim restricts Huck from seeing it.

Has Everybody Believed of his Death 🤔?

Huck wants to know whether everybody has believed in his death? He dresses up as a girl to inquire about this. A woman who recently moved to the town informs him that Jim is suspected to be the murderer of Huck. Anyone who finds Jim is declared a reward of $300. She also updates that her husband has decided to search 🔎 for him in the Jackson island spotting smoke.

To Cairo

Huck and Jim escapes the island and sets towards Cairo as slavery is abolished there. They find a stranded steamboat in between their voyage and climb upon it. But there were three criminals in it trying to kill the third one. They try to flee but finds that their canoe has drifted off. They steal the boat of these criminals and catch up their raft.

Jim Dreams to be a Free Man

They set their journey to Cairo and they lose themselves on a thick foggy night but find each other. Jim shares his dream of being a free man and his desire to be with his wife and children. Huck feels guilty helping a slave and wants to share this with someone.

Will Huck betray Jim? Can Huck take a right decision to save Jim’s life?

Even though Huck thinks to share this with someone. He stops as Jim calls him is best friend. A group of runaway slaves question him on the way but Huck lies that it’s his father infected with small pox. This ensures the trust of Jim in Huck 😌. The enquirers move away frightened handing over some money.

The Grangerfords and Shepherdsons

A steamboat destroys their raft splitting into two. Huck and Jim are separated. Huck reaches the shore but no whereabouts of Jim is found. Huck reaches a local family in the area, the Grangerfords. He comes to know of the feud between the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons. But none knows the real reason 🙄.

Huck and Jim Meets

Jim meets Huck after a long time. Jim sends a slave to take Huck to his hiding place. He was hiding in the middle of a swamp covered by bushes 🌿 fearing of enslavement 🙍🏿‍♂️ if somebody spots him.

They get a chance to escape from the area when a Grangerford elopes with a Shepherdson breaking a feud. A shooting breaks out as Grangerfords pledge to take revenge. Huck and Jim escapes in between.

The Hustlers 😬

Two Hustlers join them, the Duke of Bridgewater who wants him to be addressed as My Lord and the other called the King claims himself as the descendant of King Louis XVI. They are free white men who earn their living by scamming people. Huck recognises this but plays along with them.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Mark Twain | Huckleberry Finn | The king and the Duke
The King, The Duke, Jim and Huck in the raft 🛶

They take control of their raft and stop at various places to practise fraudulent activities. They earn several dollars running a ridiculous theatre show and acting as a reformed pirate raising donations to help such missionaries.

The Trap

Huck is restless to abandon the hustlers. They then board a place where they come to know about Peter Wilks who died leaving his three orphaned nieces. He hoped his brothers in England would take care of them and their property. The Duke and the King take this opportunity.

The Duke and the King appear as the brothers of Peter Wilks and the property is kept under the custody of them. Huck wants to unmask them. He steals the money risking his own identity but had to dump the money in the coffin ⚰ of the deceased due to sudden circumstances.

Unmasked 🎭

The identity of the King and the Duke is revealed as the real brothers of Peter Wilks, Harvey and William show up. They ask to prove that they are the real brothers and questions of the tattoo upon their brother’s chest. They try to hook up something but it fails. Meanwhile Huck and Jim escape, celebrating but they are finally asked to take the fraudsters along with them.

Jim is Sold 😵

The King and the Duke stopping at several stops to perform fraudulent acts seems unsuccessful. Finally they stop at Pikeville. The King goes to a nearby village while Huck and the Duke follow, not seeing him return. The King and the Duke get into a fight. Huck tries to use the opportunity and escape but doesn’t find Jim. The King has sold him to Phelps 😩.

Can Huck save Jim from Phelps? Will Jim’s dreams be shattered?

To Free Jim

“I was sorry for them poor pitiful rascals, it seems like I couldn’t ever feel any hardness against them any more in the world. It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another”.

Huck | Chapter 33 | the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Huck goes to Mrs. Phelps or Aunty Sally who bought Jim. She mistakes Huck for Tom and welcomes him. Huck plays along and asks Tom to do so as he arrives. Tom reveals himself as Sid, his own brother.

Tom Sawyer: The Master Planner

Tom, who has read adventurous stories, scripts the plan for Jim’s rescue. But he deletes easy ways making it hard for the players. He even sent some anonymous notes to Phelps alerting them of an attack. Phelps appoints a group of shooters and Tom is shot on his leg.

The Happy End

“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.”

Huck | Chapter 43 | The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Tom recovers and returns to Phelps. But he is furious to see Jim chained 🔗. Tom reveals that Jim is not a slave to be chained as Miss Watson who died two months ago had freed him in his will. Aunty Polly cleans the fuss created by Tom and Huck. Jim then confirms Pap’s death to Huck. It was Pap’s dead body in the floating house. Huck is happy 😊. He sets off to West before he gets civilised by Aunt Sally.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Mark Twain | Huck
Huck and Tom beaten for their mischievous behaviour by Aunt Polly

“How is servants treated in England? Do they treat ’em better in we treat our niggers?” “No! A servant ain’t nobody there. They treat them worse than dogs”

Huck | Chapter 29 | The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ ends where the real quest for adventure of Huck begins. Huck even though a child believes that civilization makes humans inhuman.

The setting of ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’, the Mississippi river is the symbol of absolute freedom where most of the action in the novel takes place. Huckleberry Finn rejects the social conventions and is a complex character to be analysed beyond the constricts of a child.

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Naeema Jalal Inclined Scorpio

Naeema Jaleel

Writer at Inclined Scorpio

On an extended process of giving birth to myself structuring own concepts & beliefs.

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Naeema Jaleel

Naeema Jaleel

Writer at Inclined Scorpio

2 Comments

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Rupam · February 20, 2022 at 4:24 pm

Nicely articulated Naeema. Clean and Readable.

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    Subra101 · February 20, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    It looks much better to read on mobile. On PC, the text is a little off but still looks good to read.

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