THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN – Chapter wise Summaries and Critical Commentaries

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn-Summary

First you read the plot of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Now we are going to do the most interesting part. We are summarizing the book, chapter by chapter.

CHAPTER 2 – HUCK LIVES WITH WIDOW DOUGLAS

CHAPTER 3 – HUCK’S FATHER RETURNS

CHAPTER 4 – HUCK’S FATHER TAKES HIM AWAY

CHAPTER 2 – HUCK LIVES WITH WIDOW DOUGLAS

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 2

Summary

Huckleberry Finn is the son of the town drunk of St.Petersburg, Missouri . He calls his father Pap. Most often Pap lies somewhere drunk to be picked up. When he is sober he lives in a log hut hidden away in the forest. Huck, growing in negligence, has nothing to do other than fish in the River Mississippi, sleep the porches, and join his group of friends, including Tom Sawyer, in various adventurous feats. St.Petersburg remains a sleepy little town until Huck and Tom together discover in a robbers’ cave a treasure, a sum of twelve thousand dollars in gold.

 On Judge Thatcher’s decision the money, divided between the two boys, is deposited in a bank, allowing Tom and Huck each to draw an interest of one full dollar a day. The wealth looks so excessive for them that Huck gets bored by the notion of being rich. At this time, as a gesture of gratitude for saving her life, Widow Douglas, a kind old lady in the town adopts Huck as her own son .

Soon Huck finds it difficult to cope with the condition laid down in Widow Douglas’s house. A boy used to living in the open air, Huck does not feel comfortable when he is to live in a house. He is unhappy about washing himself every day, cleaning his hands before meals, getting properly dressed, using cutlery at the dining table, and eating meals at regular hours.

Widow Douglas’s sister Miss Watson aggravates his frustration further by trying to teach him reading and writing. Even the act of taking him to church and the idea of sending him to school do not please him at all. The process of civilization started in Widow Douglas’s house becomes torturous Huck in its entirety, and Huck in protest against it runs away in his old rags. Huck cannot live like this very long. His friend Tom persuades him to go to Widow Douglas’s again and to live there as he had been, on the grounds that Huck can join his new club only as a respectable person.

Disheartened by his absence, Widow Douglas seems to have cried a lot. But, on Huck’s reappearance in the house, she happily starts the same old routine. Miss Watson also does her part in the teaching. He has to struggle with spelling exercises till it is late in the night. One such a tiresome night, around when the town clocks strikes twelve, Huck receives a signal from his friend Tom. “Mee-ow!  Mee-ow!”.  In a moment he responds to it. “Mee-ow! Mee-ow!” 

Then he slowly slips down his window, lands on the ground, and joins his friends at a midnight meeting. But they cannot leave the garden as Miss Watson’s Negro slave Jim is sitting in the doorway.  Fortunately, he is in a deep sleep. The boys mark time, and leave the place at a signal Tom makes. After they have left, Tom and Huck enter the kitchen and pick three candles from the table. Tom leaves a five cent coin on the table for the candles. They do not forget to have fun out of the situation.

 Tom slips Jim’s hat off his head and hangs it on a branch above him. After that the boys proceed and hold their meeting. They form the club of which the captain is Tom Sawyer and the vice captain is Joe Harper. Huckleberry Finn, Tommy Bames , and Ben Rogers are only members. After deciding the positions they disperse Huck comes home muddy and tired.

The following morning the superstitious Negro, who had got frightened by the trick played on his hat , spread the news among the other slaves that witches had put a spell on him. From that day on, he wears the five cent coin claiming that it is a gift from the devil.

Commentary

Huckleberry Finn is from the sleepy little town St.Petersburg, Missouri. He calls his irresponsible alcoholic father Pap. His relationship with Pap is not very healthy. Huck always lives in fear of Pap. Whenever they meet each other, there is always a conflict. Pap lives in a hut in a forest nearby.  His appearance in town always ends in trouble. Therefore Huck is happy not to see him.

Huck’s lifestyle is determined by the lack of parental care. He does all kinds of outdoor activities for fun. He has a group of friends very much of his age and he does not have a focus for his life. Therefore he indulges himself in all types of mischief.

The discovery of a treasure of twelve thousand dollars in gold by Huck and Tom together in a robbers’ cave makes them prominent in the town. The intervention of Judge Thatcher in dividing the money between the two boys, depositing it in a bank, and allowing each of them to draw an interest of one full dollar a day implies that Huck has access to the elite of the town thanks to his sudden fortune. Nevertheless Mark Twain draws a paradox here in Huck’s boredom by the notion of being rich.The character of Huck remains unsophisticated, unaffected, juvenile, and pleasant, due to his resistance to the idea of being wealthy. Mark Twain preserves the rustic charm and freshness of Huck’s character by taking care not to corrupt his values with money power.

Mark Twain uses the kind old lady Widow Douglas’s attachment to Huck as a source of inspiration in the development of his character. As a gesture of saving her life, she adopts Huck an her own son. The natural and robust quality of the boy emerges from his frustration about manners and practices in Widow Douglas’s house

The pedagogical practices of Widow Douglas’s sister Miss Watson aimed at developing Huck’s skills in reading and writing, making him a good boy attending the mass at the church, and studying at school, become to him. Mark Twain suggests Huck’s protest against them through his running away in his old rags. This suggests, under any circumstance, Huck remains Huck, in the presence of wealth, domestic security, and education. He is not a boy to be pampered by any elements of civilization.

Mark Twain wants his hero to become a logical person. He does not want him to be totally ignorant of what goes on in the civilized world. Therefore he provides a good reason for Huck’s continuation with education and decent behavior through his friend Tom’s persuasion to go back to Widow Douglas’s and become a respectable person so as to earn a membership of his new club.

 Through Widow Douglas’s love for him and her sister Miss Watson’s concern for his education, Mark Twain suggests that Huck is a tolerable person as a juvenile although he is mischievous when he is outside home. He somehow struggles through the school work assigned by Miss Watson.

 “Mee-ow! Mee-ow!”  The feline communication he has with his friends, regarding Tom Sawyer’s midnight club meetings and the tricks they play upon  Miss Watson’s Negro slave Jim during his sleep (to make him believe that the devil left a five-cent coin for the three candles he had taken away from the kitchen table and that the devil removed his hat from his head and hung it on a branch of the tree under which he was sitting) suggest Huck and Tom together are clever at cracking practical jokes.

The type of humor Mark Twain achieves through these simple acts is peculiar to the boys of this age. This is also highlighted by Jim’s superstitious stories and claims being spread from the following day on. Mark Twain sheds light on the perception and reasoning the slave community of the time that provides a source of fun for the others,

At the meeting, the captaincy goes to Tom Sawyer and the vice captaincy to Joe Harper. Huckleberry Finn, Tommy Barnes, and Ben Rogers are considered only members. Here the hierarchy within the club is decided by the discipline the members each maintain in their daily life. Mark Twain asserts in the simple decisions taken by the boys that there is a respect for education and discipline even in their own social milieu.

CHAPTER 3 – HUCK’S FATHER RETURNS

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 3

Summary

The following morning Miss Watson is very angry to find Huck in dirty clothes While she yells at him, Widow Douglas remains silent but sad. She only removes the mud and grease from his clothes. Therefore, just out of sympathy for Widow Douglas, Huck makes up his mind to behave himself as much as he can. In a few days Huck starts schooling. He learns to read and write and do a little arithmetic. He misses school rarely and tries to follow Widow Douglas’s ways of doing things.

The only thing that bothers him is to live in a house and to sleep in a bed. So often he slips out of his room in the night and sleeps under a tree. Thereby he preserves his natural lifestyle. Without knowing his secret practices Widow Douglas is contented with Huck’s present demeanor.

One day at breakfast Huck turns over the salt-cellar and gets scolded by Miss Watson. In the village culture it is ominous to turn the salt-cellar, and Huck runs away from home in horror. It is a wintry day. On his way he finds tracks the garden but without attempting come into the house. He notices cross in the left foot heel formed by two big nails to keep off the devil. Realizing that it should be Pap, he runs off to Judge Thatchers When Judge Thatcher enquirers from him about the reason for his Sudden racist. Huck requests him to keep all the money along with its interest.

In no time judge Thatcher understands that Huck wants to prevent from cunning s money, He makes the deal legal by signing a paper and returns horror. In the evening he finds Pap in his room. He has shown up after a year. The man in his fifties looks haggard with his hair in a tangle long, black and hanging all over his sickly white face.

His tattered clothes, worm-out oes, and crumpled hat add to his clumsy appearance Suddenly Pap begins tng There is no sign of fatherly love in his tone At first he bluntly eV Huck’s for clothes and education, When Huck tells Pap about Widow Douglas adopting him as her son, he suspects that she is after his Quite threateningly. he asks for the money and ends up in ointment on hearing that Huck has given it all to Judge Thatcher. He y seks up the one dollar coin in Huck’s pocket and leaves. With the money he drunk the following day. Having failed to obtain the truy from Judge lem Thatcher, Pap files a case against him.

Commentary

Wow Douglas’s attitude to Huck’s wildness contrasts with that of Miss While Miss Watson yells at him, Widow Douglas silently remove ts and grease from his clothes after his night out. Although Miss Watson a catcher she fails to achieve the necessary behavioral change in Huck that Widow Douglas does in her silent sympathetic way. This signifies that with Hallwe and sympathy work better than severity and punishment

Mark Twain guests in his schooling that Huck is not an archetypal notates. He is somewhat quick in following the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic taught at school and the fundamentals of domestic life professed by Window Douglas. Yet he does not want to consign himself to the so-called an that tends to clash with his communion with nature. He does everything he desires but pretends to be a model good boy in the presence of Widow Douglas for the sake of domestic harmony.

ML Watson considers Huck’s accident with the salt-cellar at the table an ill an. The building he receives from her on this occasion makes him run away from bunne in horror although it is a wintry day. Mark Twain reveals the pericles beliefs of the time through the way in which the entire household

The bad it is continued by Pap’s visitation. Huck’s realization of the harm it Cold bring on him feeds him to take precautions against Pap. Hle legally conters n fadre Thatcher the full authority over his money by signing paper Mack Twain suggest 1Hucks strategic behavior through this act. His clear perception of Pap’s demeanor is vital in organizing his own life. While it means that the relationship between the father and the son is bitter, it sheds light on Huck’s sense of responsibility for his own life.

Mark Twain draws a paradox out of the confrontation between the father and the son after about a year. The man looks a failure in his clumsy appearance. He visits Huck only for the sake of the money. There is no parental love in the man So badly addicted to alcohol, rather than admiring his son’s secure life, he bluntly disapproves of Huck’s fine clothes and education, suspects Widow Douglas as a money grabber, and files a case against Judge Thatcher over the money entrusted to him. The fieriness of this relationship inspires Huck in taking decisions for his existence.

CHAPTER 4 – HUCK’S FATHER TAKES HIM AWAY

Summary

The case against Judge Thatcher takes a long time. Both Widow Douglas a Judge Thatcher negotiate with each other on being Huck’s guardian. Pap keep on harassing Huck asking for money, and Huck escapes a beating by give him a dollar or two borrowed from Judge Thatcher. Soon he becomes nuisance in the town, getting drunk, creating noise and trouble, and geting jailed almost every day. He even bothers Widow Douglas and gets told of Angry with everybody in the town.

He kidnaps Huck and takes him ten desolate log hut situated in a forest a few miles off the Illinois shore months pass. Huck always spends his time under lock and key. He tries a possible ways to escape from the kind of imprisonment he suffers there. Bu there is hardly any luck. The father and son live on fish and game. Each time Pap goes out, he returns heavily drunk and assaults Huck brutally. Once Pan returns only in three days, and Huck spends the time in panic. In the mean time he toys with the idea of running away. and

Commentary

The brutality of Pap becomes obvious in the court case he starts against Judg Thatcher in his attempt to get hold of Huck’s money. This embarrasses boe Widow Douglas and Judge Thatcher who are genuinely concerned about Huck’s welfare. At the bottom of Pap’s continuous physical harassment Huck in this situation, lies nothing but money, money needed for alcohol He greed for his son’s money leads him to become a public nuisance and interfere with the latter’s freedom.

Pap’s struggle to get hold of the money culminates in his abduction and imprisonment of Huck in his desolate log hut situated in a forest a few miles of the Illinois shore. The man looks a terror in all measures he takes against the boy’s escape. For some months, Huck always spends his time under lock and key, wondering as to how he can escape from the cell.

The isolation Huck suffers at the hands of Pap and the frequent assaults Huck receives from Pap in his frustration about his failure over the money sugge

of human right violation. Mark Twain does not introduce any actionary or hateful element into the behaviour of his hero under these reumstances Huck contemplates his escape but does not hate Pap. His speciation of freedom does not corrupt his mind but inspires his creativity in s imagination of how he achieved it. Huck is immune to hatred under any circumstance.

CHAPTER 5 – HUCK PLANS TO ESCAPE

Summary

There is no way of quitting the log hut. The window and the chimney are too small for Huck to get through. The door is made of solid oak slabs. Huck arches for a cutting instrument inside the hut and finally manages to find a broken saw. He fixes its handle and starts sawing the big bottom log behind the Doble. After so many hours of work he clears his escape passage.

In the mean time Pap comes home but not in a good mood. He talks about the court case against Judge Thatcher which is due to take a long time, and warns Huck that would ride him if Widow Douglas attempts to get him back. Fed up with ration, Huck hates going back to Widow Douglas and thinks about a way e riding bamself from Pap and Widow Douglas both. He plans that he takes and a few lines with him so that he could live on hunting and fishing.

Next day Pap sends Huck to see whether any fish have got caught in the lines. He takes this opportunity to see whether any useful items have come floating the river. He finds a canoe and hides it immediately in a place where Pap cannot see it. Soon after, Pap finds some logs that have come on the river. He goes to town to sell them and Huck puts his plan into action. He gets out of the hut having sawn the remaining bit of the log.

Then he fills the canoe with some food and some domestic vessels and implements stolen from the hut. He smashes the door with the axe. Having killed a pig he spills its blood all over the floor, and puts dust and dirt everywhere to make it look as if he has been kidnapped murdered by somebody.

Then he paddles his boat down to jackson’s Island where he thinks he can find a safe haven to live He feels he can en visit the town from there when it is necessary. He lands on the island early the morning and hides the canoe in a safe place. Then he goes to sleep as he s been tired all the time.

He wakes up in the morning but feels lazy to get up, she finds the place snug and comfortable. But suddenly he gets excited by the inns made from a ferry-boat at a floating canoe. Huck senses that the people an the boat are searching for his dead body. He has a close look at them from is hiding place and identifies Pap, Judge Thatcher, his daughter Becky, Joe iarper, Tom Sawyer, and Tom’s Aunt Polly, Sid and Mary and many people, They talk about Huck being murdered. After some time they go back and Huck eels relieved.

Commentary

Huck’s creativity becomes obvious in his escape from Pap’s strongly-built log ut. Having fixed the handle of it, he patiently uses a broken saw on the big

Iww an hour work he clears lus escape Behind the table Aller pge Hacksfeexerance is clear in this veriture

hatton log Huck justified hin escape by pondering on Pap’s cannibalistic attitude t him. Right now 1ap’s mood is influenced by his contest for the money. He hate Judge Thatcher and the entire township in his frustration. Although it s obvious that Huck will have a secure life in the care of the kind-hearted Widow Angulas Pap is adamant that he would not allow any attempt made by her to leHucks guardian The basis of his agony in his greed for his son’S money

Sardonically, Huck does not like either the barbarism of l’ap or t dilation of Widow Douglas. He thinks about a way of hiding himself fme Pap and Widow Douglas both. This implies Huck’s attachment to open air li and appreciation of independence and freedom. He wants to be his own guardan without having to listen to anybody or to follow anybody else orders. He prefers being a natural man living on hunting and fishing While his escape passage is ready, luck thinks about some means of travel

order to move over to a laraway place. He finds a canoe floating on the rive

and hides it immediately in a place where Pap cannot see it. On the day Pap

out in the town with some logs for sale, Huck puts his plan into action i

preparation for the journey, he fills the canoe with some food and seITe

domestic vessels and implements stolen from the hut together with son i

talung lines and a gun So he takes care of being well-organized for his te

life

In order to mislead Pap and the townspeople about his departure, he make! look like a scene of burglary, abduction, and murder by smashing the door will art ae, spilling the blood of a pig all over the floor, and putting dust and d everywhere. The camouflage he creates in the hut indicates Huck farsightedness, powers of imagination, and ability to avoid his trouble make attention

The uninhabited Jackson’s Island situated somewhere close to the town of S Petersburg becomes his safe haven to live. He lands on the island early in the morning, hides the canoe in a safe place, goes to sleep as he has been tired a the time, and wakes up to find the place snug and comfortable Mark Twain introduces some of his values about leading a simple life in communiot w nature as well as in rapport with society through the delights and fancies d Huck

The appearance of the ferry-boat with all his acquaintances including Pa moving on the river in search of his own dead body, provides Huck opportunity to sense how people think about him when he is dead. Mark Tw achieves suspense and excitement in this situation where Huck is made watch the others working on him in the belief he is dead. His feeling of tel alter their departure is genuine and natural

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To his taste Huck sets up a camp in a thicket on the island. He makes a kind of a tent with the blankets and arranges inside her the goods he has brought in the canoe so that rain will not spoil them. He cooks a catfish caught in the afternoon and has supper. Soon after, he puts out some fish lines to catch fish for breakfast, and goes to sleep by a cosy fire. By the end of his first three days on the island he has explored everything on it and now he feels he is the sole owner of it. The numerous kinds of fruit he finds keep him walking to the foot of the island. The sight of the warm ashes of a camp fire draws his attention at once. Frightened by the signs of another occupant’s presence on the island, Huck returns to his camp, hides all his personal effects, removes all signs of the fire, climbs up a tall tree, and surveys the island as far as he can. About two hours later, he climbs down the tree, and eats what has been left over from breakfast. In the night, he cooks his supper in the thicket. After supper, he tries to sleep in the canoe about a quarter of a mile away from his spot but finds it impossible. Then he returns to his spot and tries to sleep again. Panicked by what he saw in the morning, he cannot sleep. He rows his canoe down to the foot of the island and lands where the ashes were. To his surprise there is a fire burning. With his gun in hand, Huck walks to the fire, and keeps watch. In the bright moonlight, a man gets up from his sleep. Huck recognizes him as Miss Watson’s slave Jim. Thrilled by the sight of his good friend Jim, Huck calls him ty name. But Jim, having mistaken him for the ghost of Huck, pleads for mercy. Huck tells him all that happened and in the morning they both together make a breakfast. Still Jim finds it difficult to believe that Huck is alive. However, he congratulates Huck on his cleverness, when he hears of the story of his escape. in the mean time Huck elicits from Jim as to how he has ended up on the island. mis story sounds sad. Miss Watson receives an offer of eight hundred dollars jim from a man from New Orleans and decides to sell him despite Widow Douglas’s objection. Then, without waiting for the deal to realize, Jim escapes rom the town, and for the past week he has been hiding on the island. On hearing each other’s story they feel that they are the happiest friends. They italy decide to occupy a cave in the middle of the island and organize the ace quite effectively.

CHAPTER 6 – A FRIEND ON THE ISLAND

Commentary

An extreme sense of independence emerges from Huck’s new lifestyle on the land His camp in a lonely thicket, his tent made with blankets, his arrangement of goods inside, his cooking practices, his fishing methods, his habit of sleeping by a cosy fire, all feature a lifestyle of independence. Huck’s personality as a harmless person wishing to be left alone emerges from all the fantasies he develops as the sole owner of this uninhabited place. Mark Twain’s appreciation of nature is implied in the lovely discovery of a generous assortment of fruit Huck makes during his exploration of the island.

of

island is natura H reacts to the warm ashes of a camp fire in an intelligent way. First he hides signs of his presence. Then, for about two hours, he surveys the island as lar he can see from the top of a tree. Failing to relax his mind about the presence another man on the island, he rows his canoe in the night down to the foot the island and lands where the ashes were. Here Huck’s worry about being caught by Pap is dominant. He is not greedy about the land but does not wa to be identified by anybody, as it could threaten his independence. a

Huck’s exaltation over his recognition of Miss Watson’s slave Jim as the other occupant of the island establishes Huck’s faith in goodwill and friendship Amused by Jim’s belief that he is the ghost of his old friend, Huck develops strong partnership with Jim, explaining all that happened to him. The friendship ensures a harmonious coexistence between them. Mark Tu achieves humour in the first reactions of Jim to Huck’s presence as he ta already portrayed him as a generally superstitious person.

Through Jim’s story about being ended up on the island, Mark Twain dez protests slavery. Miss Watson receives an offer of eight hundred dollars for f from a man from New Orleans and decides to sell him despite Widow Douglas’s objection. The contrast degrees of humanity Huck perceives in Ms Watson and Widow Douglas respectively re-emerge in their treatment of Mark Twain provides a comic end to their sad stories in the feeling the harbour that they are the happiest friends. They jointly decide to occupy a care in the middle of the island and organize the place quite effectively. This ensures their happiness for some time.

CHAPTER 7 – HUCK’S VISIT TO TOWN

Torrential rains accompanied by thunderstorms make the river swell into violent body of water. Huck and Jim paddle all over the island with the chance as all hollow places are now filled with water. They even keep collecting thing that come drifting down the river. One night they catch a raft and another night a two-storey hut with a man dead inside it. Jim prevents Huck from looking at the dead man. When the water starts subsiding they catch a catfish off about hw dull and monotonous on the island, with Jim’s agreement he visits the town one

night, but in the guise of a girl. He knocks at the door of a house where he notices a woman in her forties. On being called in by the wom himself to her as Sarah Williams, Th story. He tells her

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