The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


Chapter 1 to Chapter 7

Chapter 1

Huck informs the reader that unless the reader is familiar with Twain’s Tom Sawyer the reader has likely never heard of him. Huck states that Twain mostly told the truth in that story, but that everyone stretches it now and then.

It is then down to business and Huckleberry proceeds to bring the audience up to speed on everything that happened after Tom Sawyer ended. He describes how Judge Thatcher, acting on behalf of the boys, invested their gold; and how Huck was adopted by the Widow Douglas and her sister Miss Watson. Huck initially resists and returns to his life of vagrancy, but Tom insists that Huck cannot join the gang unless he goes back to the Widow. So Huck does and allows the Widow and her sister to dress him in clothes he does not like. He describes the way the Widow cooks—which is not to his liking, for she cooks each item individually instead of throwing everything together in a pot and allowing the flavors to mix. Miss Watson tries to teach him his spelling and how to sit correctly and tells him not to smoke. He observes that she takes snuff and “of course that was all right, because she done it herself.”

When Miss Watson tries to tell Huck he will go to Hell if he does not mind himself, he says that he wishes he was there (because at least he would be away from them). She tries to convince him that Heaven is where he should want to go because there you get to play a harp all day. He asks if Tom will be in Heaven and she says not likely, and he is glad to think that they will be together.

At night he tries to sleep, but he is very superstitious and is worried when he accidentally kills a spider and performs a number of rituals to try to ward off the evil that he suspects is waiting just outside the window. Actually, it is Tom who arrives to call him out for some midnight adventure.

In this chapter, Twain introduces Huck from the first-person perspective, allowing Huck to describe his world with his own voice and words. Huck reveals himself to be a...

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