The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Questions and Answers
by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn book cover
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In "The Adventures of Huck Finn", why do the King and the Duke decide to give back the inheritance?

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McKinstry Rose eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Duke and the King's motivation has nothing to do with guilt or any type of noble thought.  Because some are starting to question their identity as the heirs, they need to perform some gesture that will win unconditional trust from the Wilkes sisters.  By giving back the inheritance, they demonstrate their interest in the ladies' well-being and seem to be nobly motivated.  They have "studied" the daughters enough to know that they will not keep the inheritance, but rather that they will feel that they can trust the King and Duke with the care of the money. Thus, the naive girls give the money back to the con artists and they end up with more money and property under their control than before they "graciously" give back the money.

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