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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

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What qualities does Huck possess in "Tom Sawyer" that Tom lacks, despite Huck's self-perceived "wickedness" and lack of education?

Quick answer:

Huck is a practical and logical character who gets the job done. He does not need to have a fancy title in order to succeed. Huck, being an impoverished child, has had to learn how to survive on his own. This has given him some skills that Tom lacks: he knows how to read people and situations and take advantage of them. In the end, it is this skill that saves Jim.

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In Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck Finn may be "ignorant" (at least according to Tom Sawyer) and lacking in formal education. He may even have a streak of "wickedness" in him in comparison to Tom's upbringing. But Huck does have something that Tom lacks: a strong practicality and logic.

Huck has had to rely on his wits to survive for a long time. Unlike Tom, Huck has had no one to care for him. He has learned to do everything for himself, and in the process, he has developed a sense of what he needs to do and when he needs to do it.

When Huck's father turns up again, Huck quickly and practically hands over his money to Judge Thatcher so his father can't get it. Huck goes with the flow for a while, living with his father. When he can no longer take his father's abuse, he escapes by faking his own death.

When Huck and Jim meet the "Duke of Bridgewater" and the "Dauphin of France," Huck logically realizes that they are not at all who they claim to be, but he goes along with them for the moment. When Huck and Tom go to rescue Jim, Huck proposes a simple idea that would work perfectly well, but Tom has to add all kinds of romantic complications (complete with secret tunnels). Indeed, Huck is much more practical than Tom, and if Tom had followed Huck's plan, the two boys would have saved themselves plenty of trouble.

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