The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn tells the story of Huck Finn, who creates a plot to escape his complicated past, and runs away from society, hiding from the world who thinks he's dead. Huck then runs into Jim, Miss Watson's slave, who had run away. The two of them live together on Jackson Island, and from there travel on to try and reach freedom for Jim. Huck faces a challenge of man versus himself as he tries to decide for himself whether it is right or not to help Jim escape. The novel follows Huck and Jim as they encounter a variety of characters, which leads into a multitude of short stories wrapped up in the escapade of the two runaways from society.


  • Huckleberry Finn: The main character of the novel, tries to find a balance between civilized life and freed life, so to escape the pressures of society and the abuse of his father, he runs away. Huck stumbles across the runaway slave, Jim, and the two become traveling partners along the river. This relationship sprouts into a friendship, as Huck begins to loose his racial prejudice.
  • Jim: Miss Watson's slave who runs away. He flees to Jackson Island, where he runs into Huck Finn. The two then become traveling partners and friends through the journey, and Jim's trek for freedom.
  • The Widow Douglas: The widow who takes in Huck and tries to civilize him. She provides him with a home until his Pap comes and takes him back.
  • Miss Watson: Takes care of Huck along with the Widow Douglas, but Huck dislikes Miss Watson for she is harsh and tries too hard to force him into a "civilized" life.
  • Pap: Huck's abusive father who is an alcoholic. He shows up in Huck's life again because he hears about the money Huck has obtained, and proceeds to take Huck to live with him. Huck plots to escape from his father, and fools him by setting a murder scene. Pap is later found dead in the floating house.
  • The Grangerfords: Huck is taken in by the Grangerfords, a wealthy family, when his raft is run over by a boat and he and Jim are separated. The Grangerfords are in a family feud with the Sheperdsons.
  • The Sheperdsons: Enemies of the Grangerfords.

I liked the various stories that are tied within the novel Huck Finn. The different story lines kept the book from drawing the book out too long, or running one story dry. The one issue I had with this book was adjusting to the different dialects that Mark Twain writes in because I'm not used to reading books with the slang language of the different groups.

What can we learn from reading this book?
Huck Finn is a light-hearted read, but if you search deeper you can draw a message from it. The story breaks down any prejudices we may have, and teaches us that the world can constrain your freedom, so we must find a place in which we can be free from society to focus on life rather than the complicated aspects of it that the world tosses upon our shoulders. We can also learn that what the world tries to tell us is right, is not always the truth.

Essential Questions:

  • What role does society play in shaping who we are?
    • Society plays a major role in shaping who we are. People fight nature versus nurture as to which determines who we are, and nature has it's role, but I think nurture and society form our attitudes, personalities, prejudices, and opinions about the world around us.
  • What does freedom mean to you?
    • To me, freedom means that I have the right to believe what I want to believe, and I can back up my beliefs without being judged or persecuted. It also means I have certain rights that nobody can take away from me, no matter what the circumstance.
  • How do you go about making important decisions?
    • When I'm making an important decision it's important to me to weigh the options, and think what will happen depending on how I decide. I usually run lots of scenarios through my mind and think of all the positives and negatives prior to making a big decision.
  • What does Huck Finn teach us about what it means to be human?
    • Huck Finn teaches us that being human means having a need for companionship and having the want to escape a life that confines you to the ideas of others for the freedom of your own ideals.