Huck Finn

Huck Finn

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… largely homeless. Huck's father is the town drunk, so young Huck spent most of his childhood wandering from place to place until he was placed under the care of the Widow Douglas. However, Huck is unwilling to be subjected to attempts to "civilize" him, so he quickly escapes and reunites with his best friend, Tom Sawyer – only to be returned to his alcoholic father.

Living… on a raft traveling on the Mississippi River, with escaped slave Jim. After faking his own death to escape his father's cabin, Huck meets Jim, who ran away after overhearing Miss Watson's plans to sell him down the river. Together, the two escapees plan to head to Illinois, a free state, so that Jim can buy his and his family's freedom.

Profession… explorer and adventurer. Crafty and streetwise, 13-year-old Huck manages to evade con men, escape violence, and successfully impersonate others.

Interests… causing mischief, helping Jim, and being free to do what he wants. Huck is especially fond of his raft, saying that "you feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft."

Relationship Status… single. Come on, he's a 13-year-old boy – what does Huck care about romance? Amongst his friends, though, Huck is closest to Tom Sawyer, but he also forms a deep bond with Jim during their time together.

Challenge… staying out of trouble and helping to keep Jim safe. Despite having some racial prejudices of his own, Huck slowly empathizes with Jim. When Jim is sold by two con men to a plantation, Huck's conscience speaks up and he decides to rescue Jim from his new owners.

Personality… free-spirited, mischievous, and lacking in manners. It's Huck's aversion to authority and civilization that lead him to run away, but those qualities are also what allow him to eventually see past the prejudices of his society.


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