The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Additional Summary

Mark Twain

Summary

(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer had found a box of gold in a robber’s cave. Later, after Judge Thatcher takes the money and invests it for the boys, each receives the huge allowance of one dollar a day. The Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, take Huck home with them to try to reform him. At first, Huck cannot stand living in a tidy house where smoking and swearing are forbidden. Worse, he has to go to school and learn how to read. He does, however, manage to drag himself to school almost every day, except for the times when he sneaks off for a smoke in the woods or goes fishing on the Mississippi River.

Life is beginning to become bearable to him when one day he notices a boot print in the snow. Examining it closely, he realizes that it belongs to his worthless father, whom he has not seen for more than a year. Knowing that his father will be looking for him when he learns about the money, Huck rushes to Judge Thatcher and persuades him to take the fortune for himself. The judge is puzzled, but he signs some papers, and Huck is satisfied that he no longer has any money for his father to take from him.

Huck’s father shows up one night in Huck’s room at the Widow Douglas’s home. Complaining that he has been cheated out of his son’s money, the old drunkard later takes Huck away with him to a cabin in the Illinois woods, where he keeps the boy a prisoner, beating him periodically and half starving him. Huck is allowed to smoke and swear, however, and before long he begins to wonder why he ever liked living with the widow. His life with his father would be pleasant except for the beatings. One day, he sneaks away, leaving a bloody trail from a pig he kills in the woods. Huck wants everyone to believe he is dead. He climbs into a canoe and goes to Jackson’s Island to hide until the excitement subsides.

After three days of freedom, Huck wanders to another part of the island, and there he discovers Jim, Miss Watson’s black slave, who tells Huck that he ran off because he overheard Miss Watson planning to sell him down South for eight hundred dollars. Huck swears he will not report Jim. The two stay on the island many days, Jim giving Huck an education in primitive superstition. One night, Huck paddles back to the mainland. Disguised as a girl, he calls on a home near the shore. There he learns that his father disappeared shortly after the people of the town concluded that Huck was murdered. Since Jim disappeared just after Huck’s apparent death, there is now a three-hundred-dollar reward posted for Jim’s capture, for most people believe that he killed Huck.

Knowing that Jackson’s Island will soon be searched, Huck hurries back to Jim, and the two head down the Mississippi on a raft they have found. They plan to sell the raft at Cairo, Illinois, and then go on a steamboat up the Ohio River into free territory. Jim tells Huck that he will work hard in the North and then buy his wife and children from their masters in the South. Helping a runaway slave bothers Huck’s conscience, but he reasons that it would bother him more if he betrayed a good friend. One night, as they are drifting down the river on their raft, a large steamboat looms before them, and Huck and Jim, knowing that the raft will be smashed under the hull of the ship, jump into the water. Huck swims safely to shore, but Jim disappears.

Huck finds a home with a friendly family named Grangerford, who are feuding with the nearby Shepherdson family. The Grangerfords treat Huck kindly and leave him mostly to himself, even giving him a young slave to wait on him. One day, the slave asks him to come to the woods to see some snakes. Following the boy, Huck comes across Jim, who has been hiding in the woods...

(The entire section is 1528 words.)

Summary

(Critical Survey of Literature, Masterpiece Edition)

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn had found a box of gold in a robber’s cave. After Judge Thatcher had taken the money and invested it for the boys, each had the huge allowance of a dollar a day. The Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, had taken Huck home with them to try to reform him. At first, Huck could not stand living in a tidy house where smoking and swearing were forbidden. Worse, he had to go to school and learn how to read. He did, however, manage to drag himself to school almost every day, except for the times when he sneaked off for a smoke in the woods or to go fishing on the Mississippi River.

Life was beginning to become bearable to him when one day he noticed a boot print in the snow. Examining it closely, he realized that it belonged to his worthless father, whom he had not seen for more than a year. Knowing that his father would be looking for him when he learned about the money, Huck rushed to Judge Thatcher and persuaded him to take the fortune for himself. The judge was puzzled, but he signed some papers, and Huck was satisfied that he no longer had any money for his father to take from him.

Huck’s father showed up one night in Huck’s room at Widow Douglas’ home. Complaining that he had been cheated out of his money, the old drunkard later took Huck away with him to a cabin in the Illinois woods, where he kept the boy a prisoner, beating him periodically and half starving him. Huck was allowed to smoke and swear, however, and before long he began to wonder why he had ever liked living with the widow. His life with his father would have been pleasant if it had not been for the beatings. One day, he sneaked away, leaving a bloody trail from a pig he had killed in the woods. Huck wanted everyone to believe he was dead. He climbed into a canoe and went to Jackson’s Island to hide until all the excitement had blown over.

After three days of freedom, Huck wandered to another part of the island, and there he discovered Jim, Miss Watson’s black slave, who told Huck that he had run off because he had overheard Miss Watson planning to sell him down south for eight hundred dollars. Huck swore he would not report Jim. The two stayed on the island many days, Jim giving Huck an education in primitive superstition. One night, Huck paddled back to the mainland. Disguised as a girl, he called on a home near the shore. There he learned that his father had disappeared shortly after the people of the town concluded that Huck had been murdered. Since Jim had disappeared just after Huck’s apparent death, there was now a three-hundred-dollar reward posted for Jim’s capture, for most people believed that he had killed Huck.

Knowing that Jackson’s Island would soon be searched, Huck hurried back to Jim, and the two headed down the Mississippi on a raft. They planned to sell the raft at Cairo, Illinois, and then go on a steamboat up the Ohio River into free territory. Jim told Huck that he would work hard in the North and then buy his wife and children from their masters in the South. Helping a runaway slave bothered Huck’s conscience, but he reasoned that it would bother him more if he betrayed a good friend. One night, as they were drifting down the river on their raft, a large steamboat loomed before them, and Huck and Jim, knowing that the raft would be smashed under the hull of the ship, jumped into the water. Huck swam safely to shore, but Jim disappeared.

Huck found a home with a friendly family named Grangerford, who were feuding with the nearby Shepherdson family. The Grangerfords treated Huck kindly and left him mostly to himself, even giving him a young slave to wait on him. One day, the slave asked him to come to the woods to see some snakes. Following the boy, Huck came across Jim, who had been hiding in the woods waiting...

(The entire section is 1557 words.)

Summary

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn may at first have seemed to Twain to be an obvious and easy sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but this book, begun in the mid-1870 s, then abandoned, then taken up again in 1880 and dropped again, was not ready to be published until 1884. It was worth the delay. It proved to be Twain’s finest novel—not merely his finest juvenile work but his best fiction, and a book that has taken its place as one of the greatest novels written in the United States. In some ways it is a simpler novel than The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; it has nothing like the complication of plot which made that earlier novel so compelling.

Huck, harassed by the Widow Douglas and her...

(The entire section is 1353 words.)

Summary

(Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)

The story of a poor and uneducated boy from eastern Missouri, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is narrated by Huck himself. He relates his adventures as he travels down the Mississippi River on a raft with a runaway slave named Jim. The book satirizes antebellum Southern society and the constraints of civilization, which both Huck and Jim are attempting to escape. Mark Twain’s use of dialects is one of the most original and influential aspects of the novel, and in many ways sets it apart as a masterwork of American literature. However, his use of dialect has also sparked controversy.

Almost immediately upon publication, the rough language Huck uses evoked calls for excluding the book from libraries. As the...

(The entire section is 420 words.)

Summary

(Novels for Students)

Mickey Rooney as Huckleberry Finn Published by Gale Cengage

Chapters 1-7: Huck's Escape
Mark Twain begins The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with a...

(The entire section is 1555 words.)