Monday, September 5, 2011

Huckleberry Finn Chapters 1-4

     In chapter one, we discover that Huckleberry Finn lives with a woman known as the Widow Douglas.  It is obvious that he has no family that can properly take care of him.  She is a typical religious, southern proper character and he is the complete opposite being a restless, troublesome boy.  Huck Finn's friend Tom Sawyer is also introduced.  Something that I found interesting in the very beginning of this chapter was Finn's reference to previous adventures he has had with Tom Sawyer.  I have never experienced that in any other work before.
     In chapter two Jim is introduced.  He is the main servant of the house and it is evident through him and the way that Huck Finn talks about him that African American servant society is a big part of white people society.  Tom Sawyer's gang is also introduced along with Jo Harper who is the second captain of the gang and Ben Rogers.  The gang plans to "rob and murder" or in other words, to play pretend like all little boys enjoy doing.  On page six we learn that Huck Finn's father is indeed no role model for him to follow.  His father will I think prove to be a significant character in Finn's life as well as the story.
     In chapter three we learn that Huck Finn does not buy into all the religion that surrounds him and makes up his southern society.  Nothing about it makes sense to him especially the whole concept of prayer.  It is obvious that Huck Finn is an intelligent, observant person through the issue with his father.  While the whole town thinks he drowned, Huck Finn knows he didn't simply by hearing about how the body was found.  Also in this chapter, the gang broke up because the boys discovered that it really was just all pretend.    
    In chapter four Huck Finn is starting to adjust and get used to his new life.  He has obviously not lived with the Widow Douglas for very long.  Finn discovers his dad's boot markings in the dirt which is a foreshadowing of later events to come.  Judge Thatcher is also introduced as well as a fortune?  It obviously ties together Huck Finn, Thatcher, and his dad but where is it coming from?  Along with being a religious society, Finn is also surrounded by a superstitious society.  We learn this through Jim who predicts his future and says Huck Finn is going to make it in life and be ok and not turn out like his father.  It is interesting to me that even though Jim is black and a servant, Huck Finn obviously looks up to him and values what he has to say.  The chapter ends with Pa in Finn's room scolding him for getting an education and making something of himself.  His father obviously is a very selfish person since he takes everything Huck Finn does as a personal insult.  The law cannot protect Finn from his father; he will prove to be an interesting character to the story.


  1. Good start! The fortune is something that Huck and Tom found in Tom Sawyer.

    What point(s) might Twain be making by including both religion and superstition in this text? What do you notice?

  2. By including both religion and superstition in this text, I think Twain is painting an adequate portrait of the culture of the South during this particular time period. I think he is also contrasting two very different cultures of people. The Widow Douglas represents the religious, proper, rule following wealthy white Christians of the time period who were always trying to help the less fortunate soul (Huck Finn). On the other hand, there is a culture of poor blacks who turn to superstition, and fortune telling to find peace and security. Huck Finn also obviously identifies with the latter group of people because he does not understand or buy into the idea of religion and prayer.