In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn what did Pap trade his new coat for in chapter 5?

Asked on by jaybee23

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In both of Mark Twain's books that feature the character Huckleberry Finn, we are told that Huck's father is a drunk.  Therefore it is not surprising to find out that Huck's father trades his new coat for a jug of liquor.  The liquor is called "forty-rod."  I do not know what that means, exactly.

The fact that Huck's dad did this shows just how alcoholic he was.  He had just sobered up and pledged never to drink again.  The coat he got was a reward for doing that.  So what does he do with it?  He trades it for more alcohol.

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Sadly, for more alcohol.  The coat, given to him by the new and rather naive judge, was a gift in the judge's attempts to reform Pap.  The judge brought Pap to his house, fed him a nice meal, cleaned him up, and made him swear that he would change his ways and reform.  And, Pap might have had intentions to for at least an hour, maybe two.  But, when he got up into the guest bedroom of the judge's house, he didn't last.  He got a strong urge for a drink, sold the coat, got some whiskey, and ended up stone drunk and falling from the window.  It's a classic Pap story, one of many that Huck relates throughout the first part of the book.  I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

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