Chapters 14 and 15 Summary and Analysis
Jim and Huck take a breather after their narrow escape from the wrecked steamboat and the gang of robbers. They spend time looking over their “truck,” or goods, that the robber gang had stolen and loaded into the skiff. They find interesting articles of clothing, books, blankets, and boots, but the most valuable find is the boxes of cigars. They spend all afternoon talking, and Huck reads the newly-acquired books about kings, dukes, and earls. They get into a lengthy discussion about how royalty wears fancy clothes and everyone addresses them with “your majesty, your lordship, or your grace.” King Solomon from the Bible is the only king Jim has ever heard of, and he is not impressed with him. He does not think a wise king would suggest cutting his child in half and giving each wife one-half just to settle a dispute.
Huck changes the subject by telling Jim about Louis XVI of France who was beheaded. His son, the Dauphin, supposedly died in prison. There were rumors, however, that he had escaped and had come to America. Jim does not seem to understand the idea that the Dauphin would speak French.
Huck also explains to Jim that their experience in the steamboat was called an adventure, but Jim wants nothing more to do with Huck’s adventures. He does not relish the thought of coming so close to death again.
In three more nights Huck and Jim intend to reach Cairo, Illinois where they will pick up the Ohio River and travel north into the free states. They run into some trouble, however, when the raft, tied to a sapling, is pulled by the strong current and tears the tree out by the roots. Jim and the raft are immediately swallowed up in the fog, and he and Huck are separated for several hours. The fog finally clears and Huck finds the raft. When he sees that Jim is asleep, he quietly sneaks on board. He plays a trick on Jim, pretending he had been there all along, and that Jim had dreamt the whole experience of being lost in the fog. Jim is finally convinced.
In an effort to get Jim back to reality, however, he points to the “leaves” and “rubbish” left on the raft. When Jim realizes Huck’s trick has made a fool of him, he is deeply hurt. Huck apologizes and promises there will be no more “mean tricks.”
Discussion and Analysis
In Chapter 14 Huck and Jim are relaxing after their big scare on the Walter Scott . Their new reading material stimulates discussion about kings and dukes. Their easy bantering back and forth illustrates...
(The entire section is 669 words.)