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American Literature • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Paper

Mark Twain’s real name
Samuel Langhorne Clemens
The year Mark Twain was born
1835
Where Mark Twain was born
Florida (Missouri)
Where Mark Twain moved to after living in Florida, Missouri
Hannibal (Missouri)
Mark Twain worked as a ___ ___ when he was 11 years old
printer’s assistant
Mark Twain worked as a printer’s assitant when he was 11 years old, after the death of his ___
father
Mark Twain began writing for ___ and ___
newspapers; magazines
Mark Twain developed an unwillingness to ___ ___
stay put
Mark Twain became a ___ ___ apprentice
riverboat pilot’s
Mark Twain got his ___ ___ ___ in 1859
riverboat pilot’s license (this is difficult to obtain as you almost need to be born into the profession to have someone train you)
Mark Twain got his riverboat pilot’s license in ___
1859
Mark Twain didn’t like to stay in ___ place for very long
one
The ___ ___ ended riverboat trade
Civil War
Mark Twain enlisted in the ___ ___, but he couldn’t take military service seriously; Mark Twain and his brother thought war would be fun and games – it wasn’t
Confederate army
Mark Twain went west to mine ___ and ___
silver; gold
During his years in the west, he began signing his pieces “___ ___”
Mark Twain
A riverboat pilot’s phrase meaning two fathoms deep
mark twain
One fathom is equivalent to ___ feet
six
After being a printer’s assistant, a riverboat pilot, a Confederate soldier, and a miner, Mark Twain began work as a ___ ___
travel correspondent
One of the most successful books Mark Twain ever wrote (wrote in Europe)
The Innocents Abroad
Mark Twain’s travels resulted in a string of ___ ___
lecture tours
Mark Twain published ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ in 1876 (this story was about his boyhood)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Mark Twain published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in ___
1876
(___ ___ ___) ___ ___ was such a success, Mark Twain decided to write a sequel (People would pay just to hear him talk – almost like stand up comedy)
(The Adventures of) Tom Sawyer
(___ ___ ___) ___ ___, Mark Twain’s sequel for Tom Sawyer, turned into a very complex book
(The Adventures of) Huck Finn (Huckleberry Finn)
Mark Twain was notoriously bad with ___
money
Mark Twain lost all his ___ in 1893
money
Mark Twain lost all his money in ___
1893
Mark Twain regained the fortune (lost all of his money in 1893) by giving a ___ ___ ___ (organized by his love, Olivia)
world lecture tour
Mark Twain had two ___
daughters
Sadly, while on the (world lecture) tour, one of Mark Twain’s two ___ died
daughters
Mark Twain’s ___ died in 1904, after one of his daughters died while he was on his (world lecture) tour
wife
Mark Twain’s wife died in ___, after one of his daughters died while he was on his (world lecture) tour
1904
In 1909, Mark Twain’s younger ___ died, leaving him sick, angry, and unhappy (his daughters and wife died in a 10 year span)
daughter
Mark Twain enjoyed pointing out that ___ ___ was blazing across the sky when he was born
Halley’s comet
Mark Twain said the ___ would reappear to announce his departure
comet (Halley’s comet)
Halley’s comet did announce Mark Twain’s departure – just days before his death on ___ ___, ___
April 21, 1910
Some of Mark Twain’s other important works include
Life on the Mississippi, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Pudd’nhead Wilson
“All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” (or Mark Twain was ahead of his time)
Ernest Hemingway
Mark Twain was the first major American writer to
1) Deal with themes and topics important to Americans;
2) Use an unlikely hero (Huck Finn);
3) Use dialect as a means of social criticism
A series of small stories all involving the same characters and setting that, as a whole, contribute to the larger story (basically each chapter of Huck Finn)
episodic
A series of adventures in which the central figure through his pranks and adventures gives the author opportunity for satire on society (Involves a picaro, who is a roug person who travels and continues to move along. This is Huck )
picaresque
The characteristic speech of a particular region of social group (Jim, Pap, Colonel Grangerford – he lets them talk so that we can formulate our own opinions)
dialect
A type of literature that highlights character, customs, and dialects of a particular region of the country (every episode Huck goes through basically)
local color
A type of literature that makes fun of something – usually something in society (Mark Twain is making fun of the Sheperdson and Gangerford feud to illuminate social injustice.)
satire
The use of hints or clues in a narrative to suggest what action is to come (Ex. In chapter 16, Huck doubts turning Jim in and instead lies about his father having chicken pox. This foreshadows chapter 31.)
foreshadowing
The general idea or insight about life that a writer wishes to convey in a literary work (Ex. social injustice, slavery; he is able to comment on these themes on a very personal basis by having a little boy open up his heart to a friend)
theme
The writer’s attitude toward his subject in a work of literature (Mark Twain opposed slavery even though he wrote in a time slavery had been abolished. However, there was still social injustice.)
tone
The vantage point from which a story is told (In Huck Finn, this is first person. This makes us want Huck to “win” and we also sympathize with Huck. Tom Sawyer was too socialized and Huck had no consequences in his life – no father figure. Huck was not engulfed in the culture of the time.)
point of view
A lesson or inner meaning in a story or fable (Ex. The fable The Devil and Tom Walker told us not to be greedy.)
moral
The imaginary perspective assumed by the writer; the character who tells the story (Twain wrote in Huck’s voice even if he didn’t agree with it.)
voice
When a speech is delivered by a character on stage alone (Duke reciting Hamlet)
soliloquy
The act of creating and developing a character
characterization
Describes a character’s traits explicitly
direct characterization
Revealing character through other means, rather than describing a character’s traits explicitly (what Twain uses most often, allows the reader to make their own conclusions)
indirect characterization
A nonstandard form of language used by uneducated people who are native to a particular region (almost everyone throughout the whole novel talks like this)
vernacular
The quality of anything that appeals to the sense of the comic and provokes mirth (the humor in Huck Finn is due to the fact that readers know more than the characters, particularly Huck Finn)
humor
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a
novel
The two settings in the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
river; shore
Symbolizes freedom, security, beauty, hope – all that is good in the world – becomes almost godlike
river
Symbolizes harsh reality of society, evil, corruption, prejudice, injustice
shore
The point of view in Huck Finn
first person
___ narrates his own story
Huck
The advantages of 1st person narration
1) Makes the story more dramatic;
2) Reader becomes more involved in Huck’s character;
3) Gives novel unity because we are always in Huck’s mind
The disadvantages of 1st person narration
1) The reader only sees what Huck sees;
2) The reader only gets the story from one perspective – may not be the only story
Themes in Huck Finn
1) racism/ prejudice;
2) search for values;
3) coming of age;
4) head vs. heart;
5) appearance vs. reality
The novel (Huck Finn) is a ___ – calling attention to different aspects of Southern society – all intended to focus on the theme of racism/ slavery
satire
The theme of slavery in Huck Finn is developed by seven “episodes”:
1) Huck’s “murder”;
2) Sarah Mary Williams
3) Granderford/Shepherdson feud;
4) Parkville Camp meeting;
5) Col. Sherburn;
6) Wilks;
7) Phelphs’ Farm
What is Pap’s real name?
Jim Finn
Where does the term “down the river” come from?
the practice of selling slaves farther south
What is Mark Twain’s real name?
Samual Langhorne Clemens
What does the name “Mark Twain” mean?
2 fathoms (12 feet)
Why did Mark Twain dessert from the Civil War?
he thought it would be fun and games; it wasn’t
What does the river symbolize?
the frontier and heartland of america
According to some critics, where is the critical moment in the novel?
Huck’s apology to Jim (after the fog ordeal – Huck acknowledges Jim as another human being with feelings)
What emerges from the fog? What does Huck learn from Jim?
the friendship between Huck and Jim; Huck learns to respect Jim’s feelings (humanity and growing up); Huck learns that Jim really cares about him which helps Huck learn about friendship
Where is the irony in the book?
Huck and Jim are trying to escape slavery, but instead keep traveling farther south into slave territory
Where do critics think that Mark Twain took a hiatus from writing the book?
after the raft was wrecked by the steam boat
Some critics see the feud as a parable of youth ___ witnessed during the Civil War.
slaughter
The King and the Duke reveal a harsh ___.
reality
To the reader, the King and the Duke become ___ of evil after selling Jim.
icons
The King and the Duke’s fate brings out Huck’s ___.
compassion
While eulogizing Mark Twain, William Dean Howells called Twain the “___ of our literature.”
Lincoln (both are against slavery and are the best at what they do)
The book has been issued in ___ different editions and ___ different languages.
850; 65
Huck Finn has been called a “a profoundly ___ book.”
unsettling
“Rivers just run ___.” What does this mean?
downhill; Huck and Jim were just traveling farther into slavery
(T/F) “Mark Twain” is a riverman’s term for “two fathoms.”
True
(T/F) Before the Civil War, it was perfectly legal for one person to own another and consider him or her a piece of property.
True
(T/F) When people call other people names, the names are usually meant to be derogatory.
True
(T/F) Authors sometime use language that seems offensive or incorrect in order to create a certain atmosphere or convey a character’s traits.
True
(T/F) When slaves were sold, families were often separated.
True
(T/F) There is some evil and some good in everyone.
True
(T/F) Religion has rarely been used in dishonest schemes to make money.
False
(T/F) It is usually best to just be who you are and not try to act like someone else.
True
Mark Twain’s real name, given at birth, is
Samuel Langhorne Clemes
Mark Twain was born in 1835 on
November 30
The Missouri settlement of only 100 people where Mark Twain was born is called
Florida
Mark Twain’s father, John, studied to become a
lawyer
Mark Twain had to quit school at the age of 12 because
his father died
Mark Twain’s first job was working in a
print shop
By the age of 25, Mark Twain had fulfilled his dream of becoming a
riverboat captain
In 1861 when the Civil War broke out, Mark Twain became a
Confederate soldier
The village on the Mississippi River where he spent his childhood days is
Hannibal
The river term for “safe water” is
mark twain
In 1870, at the age of 35, Mark Twain married the love of his life
Olivia
At the age of two, their son (Mark Twain and Olivia), Langdon
died from diphtheria
Mark Twain first began to write while working in a
print shop
The major use of memories from his childhood are represented in his successful novel, written in 1876, called
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
In 1895 Mark Twain found himself humiliated because
he could not pay his debts
After traveling for a year, Mark Twain became an international hero because of his
lectures
Mark Twain and his wife had three daughters named
Susy, Clara, and Jean
Contemporaries of Mark Twain include
Helen Keller, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison
Which of Mark Twain’s novels is about time-travel from his day back to the 5th century?
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Mark Twain is called
King of all Literature
Summarize briefly Huck’s review of the end of Tom Sawyer’s story.
Mark Twain mainly told the truth with just a few stretchers; Tom and Huck each have $6000 and get a dollar a day because of interest; they are in St. Petersburg
Who is actually more irritating to Huck than the Widow Douglas?
her sister, Miss Watson
What omen does Huck receive that the adventures beginning may be bad or dangerous?
Huck accidentally flicked a spider into a lit candle
Why doesn’t Huck care about “Moses and the Bulrushers”?
they are dead
Why does Huck decide he wants to go to the bad place?
He wanted to be with Tom and would like the change
Where does Tom take Huck and their friends?
a cave
Who does Huck offer as his “family” that may be killed if he should ever reveal the secrets of the gang?
Miss Watson
What does it mean to “ransom” the captives?
keep them till they’re dead
How does Jim account for his hat being hung on a tree limb and the nickel being left on the table?
witches
Whose idea of Providence does Huck prefer?
the widow’s
What has become of Huck’s father?
hadn’t seen him in a year; most people thought he had drowned
What happens to the gang of robbers?
after a month the boys quit
Contrast Huck’s character with Tom’s.
Foils; Huck is realistic while Tom is stuck in a fantasy land (Twain makes fun of literature and comments on the darker side of society)
Whose tracks does Huck recognize in the snow?
Pap’s; a cross in the left boot heel
Why does Huck want Judge Thatcher to take all his money?
so Pap can’t get it
Does Judge Thatcher understand the situation?
yes; he allows Huck to “sell” his money to him but makes it to where Huck still owns the money (he is a nice man)
What is a hairball and what properties does it have?
large as a fist; out of the fourth stomach of an ox; spirit in it
What does Jim say that the hairball tells him?
there are two angels hovering around his father and it is not yet sure which one will win; there will be trouble and joy in Huck’s life; there would be two girls in Huck’s life – one rich and one poor; Huck will first marry the poor one then the rich one; he should avoid water because that is where he will die
What does Huck find when he returns to his room?
Pap
What has Huck’s father come for?
Huck’s money
What is Pap’s “new life” and how long does it last?
be a man nobody would be ashamed of; about a day
What kind of man is Huck’s father? What would he be called today? How does Huck react to him?
town drunk; ?a drunk?; Huck used to be scared of him but tries to act nonchalant in front of his father now
What makes Huck begin to want to go to school?
to spite Pap
What does Pap do?
“steals” Huck and takes him to an old cabin (Illinois)
When Pap got drunk, what was his favorite subject to cuss about?
government
What does the “June rise” of the river float down to Huck?
drift-canoe
What does he do with it?
paddles her ashore and hides her
Why does Huck wish Tom Sawyer were with him?
he would throw in fancy touches
What is the purpose of killing the pig and leaving the bloody ax?
to make it look like Huck was killed
Where does Huck go when he escapes from his father?
Jackson’s Island
How does he get there?
canoe (sees his father on a skiff on his way to Jackson’s Island)
Why are the loaves of bread floated out over the water?
“they always go right to the drownded carcass and stop there”
How long is Huck on the island before he realizes that somebody else is there too?
three days and nights
What does “There warn’t much sand in my craw” mean?
not being courageous or feisty
Who is the man who has been living on the island?
Miss Watson’s Jim
Why has Jim run away?
Miss Watson was going to sell him down to Orleans
Why is Jim afraid of Huck at first?
Huck could tell everyone where he was and why he ran away
What are some of the superstitions mentioned in this chapter? (I Spare Miss Watson’s Jim)
birds flying a yard or two and then lighting (it would rain soon), not catching the birds (death), don’t count the things you are cooking for dinner (bad luck), shaking a table cloth at sun down (bad luck), if the man who owned a beehive died the bees must be told before sunup the next morning (the bees would stop working and die)
What superior abode do Huck and Jim find on the island?
cavern in a rock
Was Jim right about the birds’ flight portending rain?
yes
Does Huck enjoy hiding out on the island in the cave?
yes
What two important things does the river float down to Huck and Jim?
the raft and the house (water has risen so much, flooding)
What does the title of the chapter indicate to you? (What Comes of Handlin’ Snake-Skin)
something bad happens
What is “one of the carlessest and foolishest things a body can do”?
look at the new moon over one’s left shoulder
What is the logical explanation for the superstition that handling a snake will bring bad luck?
the snake’s mate will come to it’s mates’ dead body
What are the rumors in town about Huck’s disappearance?
old Finn or Jim killed him
Why does the woman ask Huck to throw a lead bar at the rat?
to test his aim to see if he is really a girl (Sarah Mary Williams, George Peters)
What other trick does the woman (Mrs. Judith Loftus) use to find out Huck’s true identity?
watches him thread a needle; throws his knees apart when she drops something in his lap
What does this title mean? (Better Let Blame Well Aone)
don’t mess with something that doesn’t need to be messed with
Why do Bill and Jake want Jim Turner dead?
he might tell (and kill them)
What is Jake’s objection to killing Turner?
They didn’t actually need to murder him; they could leave him on the boat that was falling apart
Do you think Huck is essentially a moral and honorable person? Why?
yes – he doesn’t want the people on the Walter Scott to die
Why does Huck make up the story he tells to the ferryboat man?
to save the robbers; hears the name Jim Hornback
Why does Huck want the robbers rescued?
he might be a robber one day
What does Huck mean when he says “rapscallions and dead-beats is the kind the widow and good people takes the most interest in”?
“good” people take interest in reforming “bad” people
What is the purpose of this chapter? (Was Solomon Wise)
to show that Jim is uneducated (and stubborn); Jim values human life
What is a towhead?
A river island or river archipelago is any landmass or fluvial landform within a river
How do Huck and Jim become separated?
fog
What trick does Huck play on Jim?
pretends the fog was never there and it was Jim’s dream
What is the result of the trick (Huck plays on Jim)?
Huck learns to respect Jim’s feelings
What plan do Huck and Jim have?
get to Cairo and take a steamboat up north
What bothers Huck as they near the point where Jim will be free?
his conscience
What is Jim’s dream?
to get to the free states, buy his wife, and then they could both work to buy their children
What do Huck and Jim plan to do with the money they get from the two men?
they get a twenty dollar gold piece; steam boat passage
Why don’t they follow this plan?
they realize they passed Cairo in the fog and they can only float downstream in the raft
What do they believe caused their bad luck?
snakeskin
Is Jim bitter toward Huck for causing the bad luck?
no
What happens to separate Jim and Huck again?
steam boat crashes the raft
What do the Grangerfords first think of Huck?
he is a Shepherson
What problem does Huck have when he wakes up in the morning at the Grangerford house?
He can’t remember his name
What kind of people are the Grangerfords? Are they just feuding hillbillies, or something more?
they are really nice people; the oldest man in the family, the Col., is a gentleman but they are caught in a stupid conflict (Bob, Tom, Buck, Rachel, Charlotte, Sophia & Harney Shepherdson, and Betsy the slave)
What is the purpose of the long passages describing the Grangerford house and family?
… (daughter, Emmeline, died at 15)
What does Huck find in the spot where he is told he will see “a whole stack o’ water-moccasins”?
He found Jim; the boy who told him this did not want to be involved
Why didn’t Jack just tell Huck Jim was there?
Jack didn’t want to be involved
What causes Huck to decide to leave the Grangerfords? Would he have had trouble making up his mind to leave otherwise?
Miss Sophia has run off and Buck has died, and Jim had the raft ready
What brings the feud to a boiling point?
Miss Sophia and Harney run off together at half past two
How do Huck and Jim arrange their traveling during this time?
only at night
What had the two fugitives been doing to get into trouble?
duke – tooth paste; dauphin – drinking at temperance revival
What is a temperance revival?
anti-alcohol movement
Who do the two men say they are?
duke of bridgewater and dauphin
What is the result of the claims of the two men?
Jim believes it, Huck goes along with it
How does Huck convince the men that Jim is not a runaway slave?
Huck made up a story; His father died when they were on their way to New Orleans; Didn’t want slave traders asking questions
How does the duke arrange things so they can travel in the daytime?
makes a fake bill calling Jim a runaway slave with a $2oo reward (even though he technically is but he doesn’t know he’s free so he’s not)
What plans do the king and the duke have to get money?
worship convention 87.75, printing business 9.50, the no women and slaves allowed play
What names do the king and the duke assume for their theatre?
Mr. Garrick and Mr. Kean (king)
Why does the duke decide to change the kind of show they will put on?
to make money
Why does the sign saying “Ladies and Children Not Admitted” bring in a good audience?
girly show
What does Huck think of kings?
they do bad things
Is Huck’s history at all accurate?
no
What is Jim’s frequent kindness to Huck?
taking his shift
What is the cause of Jim’s mourning?
he hurt his daughter Lizabeth
How does the duke arrange things so that Jim doesn’t have to lie in the wigwam all day to avoid being thought a runaway slave?
sick Arab, is painted blue
Where does the king get the information he needs to swindle the girls
some random dude getting on a boat
Who are the three Wilks sisters?
Mary Jane, Joanna, Susan
Do the king and the duke have any trouble convincing the people they are Peter Wilks’ brothers?
no
What is flapdoodle?
Womens’s nonsense
Why do the king and the duke add $415 of their own money to that hidden in the cellar?
to make it 6k (as was stated)
What do the king and the duke do which seems to confirm beyond doubt that they are the girls’ uncles?
they gave the money back to the girls
Why doesn’t Joanna eat at the table with the others?
because of her mouth
What makes Huck want to help the three sisters?
he has a crush on Mary Jane
Who is the only other person in town who doesn’t believe the king and duke are the real relatives?
Doctor Robinson
How does Huck find out where the king and the duke have hidden the money?
he hides in their room, taken from the closet and put under the bed
How is it that they have this money in their possession, since they had given it to the girls?
The girls gave it right back to them
Where is the money hidden?
in the coffin; at first in the king’s bed then a cupboard
Where does Huck hide the money after he takes it from the king’s room?
his cubby, then the coffin
What upsets the girls in the settling of the estate?
the splitting of the slave families
Why does Huck reveal the plot to Mary Jane?
he has a crush on her
What is Huck’s plan?
have Mary Jane go away to a “friends,” Huck gets Jim ready to go, Huck writes a letter to Mary Jane about where the money is hidden
What proof can she use that the two men are dishonest?
Bricksville
What went wrong with Huck’s plan to get away?
the real uncles showed up
How do the king and the duke behave?
as if they are steal the real uncles
What had delayed them?
The guys arm was broken
How do Huck, the king, and the duke get away from the crowd when Peter Wilks’ body is uncovered?
The money distracted everyone and Huck got away but it took the king and the duke a little longer
What saves Huck from being accused by the king and the duke of stealing money?
they start accusing each other
How had Jim been captured?
the king turned him in for just 40 dollars, the hand bill was fake (sold him)
What does Huck tell the duke when he sees him the next day?
he wants his slave back
Does the duke tell Huck the truth about Jim’s whereabouts?
no
What is the moral problem confronting Huck in this chapter?
whether to help Jim be free or turn him in as a slave
How is Tom almost trapped into telling Aunt Sally that he isn’t who she thinks he is?
Huck has told Aunt Sally he is Tom
How does he avoid this?
Tom says he is his little brother, Sid
What makes Aunt Sally assume he is Tom Sawyer?
she hasn’t seen him in years; he is dressed in nice clothes
What does Tom think when he sees Huck on the road?
he is a ghost
Who do they say the real Tom is?
Huck Finn
What happens to the king and the duke?
Tar and feathered
How does Huck feel about this?
sad; shows compassion
Who finds out where Jim is?
Tom (and Huck)

About the author

The following sample is written by Matthew who studies English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. All the content of this paper is his own research and point of view on American Literature • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and can be used only as an alternative perspective.

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