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Why is Huck now unafraid to assume his true identity after being with other people for...

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bhuery | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:56 AM via iOS

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Why is Huck now unafraid to assume his true identity after being with other people for so long in the end of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 10, 2013 at 3:37 PM (Answer #1)

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Two major revelations are conveyed at the end of the novel.

Tom tells everyone that Jim is free. The widow set him free in her will before she passed away. Jim is free to go back to Missouri and find his wife and family.

Jim tells Huck that he can go back to Missouri too because his father is dead. Early in the novel, when the river rose to its peak levels, Jim and Huck had found a house floating down the river.

They find a house floating down the river, with a dead man in it, from which they take some valuables.

When they entered the house, they found a dead man. Jim saw the man's face, but Huck stayed away from the dead body. 

The dead man was Pap Finn. 

Jim does not tell Huck until the novel's final chapter when Huck is lamenting the fact that he cannot go off and adventure with Tom because he has no money. He tells Tom and Jim that he suspects Pap has gotten his money by now from Judge Taylor and "drunk it up". 

Then Jim tells him not to worry. 

"He ain't a-comin' back no mo', Huck." 

When Huck presses Jim for specific information, he tells Huck that the body they found in the floating house was Pap Finn. 

Huck does not express emotion at this revelation, and instead conveys his feelings about writing the book of his journeys. He says that he is tired. However, he can go back to being himself, alive, and free.

 

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