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The Wilks episode contains much humor but also much darkness. What do you find most...

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eli321 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 28, 2009 at 5:27 AM via web

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The Wilks episode contains much humor but also much darkness. What do you find most comical? Most troubling?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 29, 2009 at 8:22 AM (Answer #1)

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The chapters concerning the duke and dauphin's identity theft and, later, the meeting of the two pairs of Wilks brothers are indeed filled with dark humor and gullible characters. The dauphin's willingness to take every penny possible from the Wilks family shows he is void of sympathy and has no positive traits whatsoever. The ease with which the two scoundrels win over the entire town's confidence is both humorous and disturbing. That it takes the young Huck Finn to thwart the duo's plans and dispose of their riches paints a clear picture of the simple nature of the surviving members of the Wilks family and the foolishness of the townspeople.

My favorite humorous scenes occur when Tom hides among Mary Jane's "frocks" while listening to the plotting duke and dauphin before stealing the gold; and when the second pair of Wilks brothers--the true pair--arrive and come face to face with the fraudulent duo. The most troubling aspect comes when the duke and dauphin escape and meet up with Huck and Jim to resume their con-artistry further down river.

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