Summary

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel, written by Mark Twain, that explores the life of a thirteen year old boy, Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry, also known as Huck, begins life without a mother figure. He instead lives with his caregiver, Ms. Watson. He does not like life with Ms. Watson. He feels as if his freedom is restrained. Huck loves the adventurous, rebellious and explorative lifestyle. He always dreamed of living free from the reigns of society and of a guardian. Soon enough, his drunked father, Pap, comes along to take Huck and fortune away. Huck sells his fortune to Judge Thatcher to prevent Pap from receiving it. While living with Pap, the reader is exposed to a wild, non civilized lifestyle. Pap abuses Huck often and is oppressed and prevented from living the life he always wanted to live. He devises a plan to escape from this lifestyle and makes his escape look like a murder. Before Huck says goodbye to society, he sneaks back and retrieves Jim, Ms. Watson's slave. Together the two of them live life on the Mississippi River. Together the two of them tackle adventure after adventure, and do not adhere to any of the rules of society. The ending point that we stopped at leaves us knowing how much Huck loves being secluded and finding new adventures. Ms. Watson freed Jim upon her death, and Jim wanted to earn a living to buy his wife and kids back. Jim invited Huck to stay along and help him make this living, but Huck declined the offer to live off in his own adventure land. This story tells of the great adventures Huckleberry Finn lived.



Major Character Descriptions

Huck- Huck is the protagonist and narrator of the novel. He is a thirteen year old boy who loves adventure. He does not want to be civilized and despises being controlled. He is a smart boy who was never educated, however, when living with Ms. Watson and the Widow Douglas, they try to have him educated.

Jim- Jim is the slave of Ms. Watson. He is a hard working man, but is not highly intelligent. He is a calm, friendly and gentle man. Huck takes Jim away from Ms. Watson and they set out on the Mississippi River looking for adventure. His goal one day is to buy back his wife and children. He is freed upon Ms. Watson's death.

Pap- Pap is the local drunkard in the novel. He is Huck's father. Pap is violent, uneducated, drunk, cruel and unforgiving. He resides across the river in his cabin.

Ms. Watson/Widow Douglas- They are two sisters who adopt and raise Huck. They would like to civilize him and educated him to be a proper man. Ms. Watson is very religious and believes that God will strike down on sinners. Widow Douglas is religious but calmer in her beliefs. Huck prefers Widow Douglas to Ms. Watson.

Judge Thatcher- Judge Thatcher is the local Judge to whom Huck sells his fortune. He cares about and is interested in Huck's future.

The Grangerfords- The Grangerfords are a wealthy, friendly family that offer to take Huck in after his raft is destroyed and he is separated from Jim.

Mrs. Loftus- Mrs. Loftus was the woman who gave Huck a lot of information regarding the murder story about Huck and Pap and the rewards out for them and Jim.

Tom Sawyer- Tom Sawyer is Huck's good friend. He is creative, imaginative and whimsical. He believes that the way books describe predicaments is the way they are in real life. He was the creator of the local "gang" of boys.



Likes/Dislikes

Likes- The aspect I liked most about this book was the way Huck told his stories. He told them in a humorous, sarcastic, youthful tone that could mamke anyone laugh. I also really liked how Huck changed his views about Jim. He at first thought he was doing a wrong by freeing Jim, but later came to the realization that the two of them were really good friends. All in all it's one of those classic books everyone should read.

Dislikes- The way Twain wrote this book made it difficult to understand some of the local speech. One you became accustomed to it, the speech became easy to understand. The book dragged on at times too.



What can we learn from reading this book?

We can learn many things from this book, but I believe the lesson Twain really wanted to teach us was that no matter how old someone is, their ideas and interests need to be respected at all levels. Huck is a young boy who values adventure and individualism. Unfortunately, people sometimes frown upon this. People need to realize that everyone has different interests and they need to be respected. Also, I feel as though Twain wanted us to see how freedom and society correlate. Can we really put these two terms together? It seems as though society has put on those living in it the need to contribute at all cost. This limits our freedoms. The fact that school and work are part of our everyday lives contributes to the lack of freedom as well.



Answers to Essential Questions

What role does society play in shaping who we are? Society may play either a huge part or a small part in shaping who we are. If us individuals take from society what they would like for us to be, then we are shaped tremendously. However, if we look beyond what everyone else wants us to be, we can be our own individual selves. This all depends on how we want to live.

What does freedom mean to you? Freedom means everything to me. Without freedom, life would not be the same. I would not be an individual, but instead part of a uniform society.

How do you go about making important decisions? I tend to over analyze most things, but in the end I follow my heart of gut feeling.

What does Huck Finn teach us about what it means to be human? Huck can teach us that we are not all perfect human beings. He can also teach us that how we live life is dependent on ourselves.