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What purposes does Huck's (faked) death serve in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

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ordo21 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 19, 2009 at 9:22 AM via web

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What purposes does Huck's (faked) death serve in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 19, 2009 at 9:33 AM (Answer #1)

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In Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Huck fakes his own death by using the blood from a pig that he's killed.  He does this for two reasons:

1.  Huck has always (in this book and in "Tom Sawyer") been a free spirit who likes to live life his own way -- sleeping in barrels, not going to school, etc.  But at the end of "Tom Sawyer," the Widow Douglas has taken him in and wants to "civilize" him.  Faking his death is a way out.

2.  Huck's alcoholic father has found and kidnapped him.  He has done this because Huck has a lot of money (gotten in "Tom Sawyer") and he wants to sponge off Huck.  He is also abusive.  Huck fakes his death in part to get away from his father.

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parama9000 | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted May 1, 2014 at 5:15 AM (Answer #2)

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He can escape the inevitable "civilizing" of him, the straightening of him in a certain sense, to be a productive member in society. Also, this presented an optimal opportunity to escape from his father.

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