Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chapter I-XI


           The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a continuation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, though there is no need to know it.   Huck Finn is a young boy without a home, and has a desire to be free from the constraints of society; however, a widow named Douglas cares for him in order that she may “sivilize” him.

            The widow and her sister, Miss Watson, do all they can to cultivate Huck, like make him wear clean clothes, pray over his food, and go to school.  Though Huck likes “the old ways better,” he is adapting to the new civilized ways.

            One night Tom Sawyer calls on him to do mischief.  Tom wants to start a band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer’s Gang; they discuss the list of stipulations involved in being part of the gang, many of which Tom claims he “got from books.”  It is nothing but pure adventure and mischief.
       
            Soon Huck learns that his “pap” is looking for him.  Pap is of poor moral character, always drunk, and illiterate; he does not want Huck to be educated.  He fights for custody and wins on the grounds that children should not be separated from their parents.   He takes Huck up the Mississippi and keeps him locked up in a cabin.  Huck is forced to endure his father’s drunken abuse day after day.

            One day while his pap is out, Huck plans an elaborate escape by staging his own murder and disappearance.  He takes the skiff and provisions and hides out on a nearby island.  It is his own way of being free from society.


            After a few days of surviving on Jackson's Island alone, he meets Jim, a run away slave of Miss Watson.  Jim tells Huck that he ran off the night of “Huck’s murder” because he heard that Miss Watson was going to sell him for a large sum.  Instead, now Jim considers himself rich because, he says, “…I owns mysef, en I’s wuth eight hund’d dollars.”  And so begins Huck’s and Jim’s colossal adventures together on the Mississippi River.

            During one of his excursions, Huck disguises himself as a girl, and goes into town to get any news about his “murder.”  He unfortunately learns that his murder has been pinned on Jim, and a crew is preparing to search the very island they are staying on.  Huck returns to Jim; and the two runaways must continue running.

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