Illustration of a man on a dock facing the water

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

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How is Huck Finn's raft described in the book?

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Huck Finn's raft is described as having a wigwam on it for sleeping in, a light, a place for a fire. Jim had built both the firebox and the wigwam as places to keep them warm, and him particularly out of sight if necessary during the day. The raft itself had a steering oar and a signal lantern.

Jim took up some of the top planks of the raft and built a snug wigwam to get under in blazing weather and rainy, and to keep the things dry. Jim made a floor for the wigwam, and raised it a foot or more above the level of the raft, so now the blankets and all the traps was out of reach of steamboat waves. Right in the middle of the wigwam we made a layer of dirt about five or six inches deep with a frame around it for to hold it to its place; this was to build a fire on in sloppy weather or chilly; the wigwam would keep it from being seen. We made an extra steering-oar, too, because one of the others might get broke on a snag or something. We fixed up a short forked stick to hang the old lantern on, because we must always light the lantern whenever we see a steamboat coming down-stream.

This information is pretty specific and important if you are trying to build a replica or draw the actual image of their raft. Most significantly, this description of the raft gives readers the extent to which Jim and Huck went in order to survive as well as keep Jim hidden. It probably took the brains of both the older, but uneducated man, as well as the sharp 11 or 12-year-old to consider every feature of the raft that would be necessary.

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Can somebody give me a description of Jim and Huck's raft in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

The section of this great novel that you want to look at is Chapter Twelve, which describes how Jim and Huck fled the island and the people eager to earn some money by capturing Jim, the runaway slave. As they make their way downstream, we are told that Jim used some fo the top planks of the raft to build a wigwam for protection from the elements. He made a floor for the wigwam and raised it so that everything would remain dry from waves coming from other boats. Because of Jim's ingenuity, they could have a fire on the raft that could be hidden. They made an extra oar and also "fixed up" a short stick on which they could hang a lantern to advise other ships of their presence.

In Chapter Nine we are given the measurements of the raft. Note what Huck tells us about it:

One night we catched a little section of a lumber raft--nice pine planks. It was twelve foot wide and about fifteen or sixteen foot long, and the top stood above water six or seven inches--a solid, level floor.

Hopefully these two descriptions of the raft will help you imagine how Jim and Huck lived on it for so long, and how it became their home.

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