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Huckleberry Finn

Chapter 1

1. What does Twain accomplish by using Huck as narrator?

2. What is the significance of the story of Moses and the Bulrushes?

3. What is significant in the encounter with the spider?

Chapters 2 - 4

4. How is Jim introduced? (Ch. 2)

5. What contrast between Huck and Tom is established? (Ch. 2)

6. What is significant in Jim's story of the witches? (Ch. 2)

7. What humor is involved in the use of the word "ransom"? (Ch.2)

8. What two aspects of religion are presented? (Ch. 3)

9. What is the meaning of Huck's remark that rubbing the "magic" lamp and ring had "all the marks of a Sunday school"? (Ch. 3)

10. What ironic use of superstition is presented? (Ch. 4)

Vocabulary for Ch. 1-4

1. commence 2. tolerable 3. shrivel 4. providence 5. ingots

Chapters 5 7

11. What is significant in the new judge's treatment of Pap? (Ch. 5)

12. What questions does Pap's attitude toward Huck evoke? (Ch. 5)

13. What mixed emotions does Huck feel about life with his father? (Ch. 6)

14. What is the irony in Pap's fury about the educated black? (Ch. 6)

15. What is the significance of Huck's remark about the river - "The June rise used to be always luck for me"? (Ch. 7)

16. What is the importance of Huck preparing his own death? (Ch. 7)

17. What poignancy is evoked in the conversation Huck overhears on the river? (Ch. 7)

Vocabulary for Ch. 5-7

1. oracle 2. specimen 3. infernal 4. speculate

Chapters 8 - 11

18. What is the importance of Huck saying he spared "Miss Watson's Jim"? (Ch. 8)

19. Why does Huck, enjoying the bread that ironically has been sent to find him, decide that perhaps there is something in religion after all? (Ch. 8)

20. What is implied in Jim's belief that Huck is a ghost? (Ch. 8)

21. Why does Huck use the phrase "lowdown Abolitionist"? (Ch. 8)

22. What is the irony of Jim's "investments"? (Ch. 8)

23. What is significant about "the floating house of death"? (Ch. 9)

24. The last line of Chapter 9 says, "We got home all safe." What is home? (Ch. 9)

25. What is the irony of the good luck Huck thinks he has been favored with in visiting the "house of death"? (Ch. 10)

26. Why does Huck return to the town? (Ch. 10)

27. What is significant in the visit to Mrs. Loftus? (Ch. 11)

Vocabulary for Ch. 8-11

1. hogshead 2. vial 3. pivot

Chapters 12 - 13

28. What is the irony of the "Walter Scott"? (Ch. 12)

Vocabulary for Ch. 12 - 16

1. careened 2. gaudy 3. thicket

Chapters 14 - 18

29. What is Jim's attitude toward Solomon? (Ch. 14)

30. What is revealed in the conversation about the Frenchmen? (Ch. 14)

31. In Chapter 15, several death images strike the reader at once. What is the significance of these images? (Ch. 15)

32. Why does Huck feel free to tease Jim? (Ch. 15)

33. What is the significance of Jim's lecture to Huck? (Ch. 15)

34. What new knowledge of human nature has Huck gained? (Ch. 15)

35. How does Huck battle with his conscience? (Ch. 16)

36. What is ironic about Jim's plans? (Ch. 16)

37. Note the speech pattern used by the slave hunters. (Ch. 16)

38. What is the purpose of Huck's "tall tale"? (Ch. 16)

39. What is the irony of Huck's statement, "I won't let no runaway niggers get by me if I can help it"? (Ch. 16)

40. Why does Huck take a new name? (Ch. 17)

41. What is the significance of the remark that Buck will get enough of the battle "in all good time"? (Ch. 17)

42. Why is Pilgrim's Progress one of the books mentioned? (Ch. 17)

43. Why does Twain describe with such detail the physical setting of the Grangerford home? (Ch. 17)

44. Chapter 18 begins with the comment, "Col. Grangerford was a gentleman, you see." What does Twain wish the reader to see? (Ch. 18)

45. What is the irony of the sermon? (Ch.18)

46. Who are the only members of the feuding families specifically mentioned as saved from the massacre? (Ch. 18)

47. Why does Huck say that there is "no home like a raft?" (Ch. 18)

Vocabulary for Ch. 17 - 18

1. crockery     5. pommel     9. tartar       13. phrenology     
2. reticule     6. capered   10. enamel       14. contrite
3. pensive      7. scow      11. lineal       
4. impair       8. cavorting
Chapters 19 - 22

48. Note the descriptive passages about the river which occupy the first few pages of Chapter 19.

49. What is the significance of the many errors and inconsistencies in the claims of the King and the Duke?

50. Huck accepts the outsiders, "for what you want, above all things, on a raft, is for everybody to be satisfied, and feel right and kind toward the others." Why?

51. What is the significance of Huck's knowing all along that the two are frauds?

52. What comments about life does the camp meeting evoke?

53. Why is the town at the beginning of Chapter 21 described so carefully?

54. How is Colonel Sherburn described?

55. How do the townspeople react to the killing?

56. Why does Twain call it a "lynching bee"?

57. What is Twain's purpose in inserting Sherburn's address?

58. What aspects of human nature emerge from the Royal Nonesuch performance?

Vocabulary for Ch. 21 - 23

1. sublime 2. soliloquy

Chapters 22 - 26

59. What is significant in the title "The Orneriness of Kings"?

60. What further aspects of Jim's character emerge in Chapter 23?

61. What contrast emerges immediately?

62. What is Huck's attitude toward the townspeople who accept the King and Duke as the Wilds' relatives?

63. What does Dr. Robinson represent?

64. Why do the girls make Huck so ashamed?

Chapters 27 - 30

65. Why does Huck refuse to expose the frauds at once?

66. Why does Huck say at the end of Chapter28, "Tom Sawyer couldn't 'a' done it no neater himself. Of course he would 'a' throwed more style into it, but I can't do that very handy, not being brung up to it"?

67. Why is the crowed laughing and shouting as they bring the second set of "Wilks brothers" to the square?

68. What disappointment does Huck face at the end of Chapter 29?

69. What is the implication of the King's false "confession" to the Duke?

Vocabulary for Ch. 27 - 30

1. yawl 2. pallet 3. valid 4. stealthy 5. ingenious

Chapter 31

70. What is the significance of the chapter title, "You Can't Pray a Lie"?

Vocabulary for Ch. 30 - 31

1. dismal 2. temperance 3. venture 4. bogus

Chapters 32 - 43

71. What is the significance of the title, "I Have a New Name"?

72. How does Tom accept the truth about Huck's disappearance?

73. What is Huck's rationale for his plan to steal Jim?

74. Why does Tom fall in Huck's esteem?

75. How does Huck explain his unaccountable speed in returning from getting "his" trunk?

76. What is Huck's reaction to the punishment of the King and Duke?

Vocabulary for Ch. 32 - 33

1. Texas 2. impudent78

Chapter 34 - 39

77. Why does Huck allow Tom to lead in the escape plot?

78. What difference does the word "stealing" reveal?

79. In Chapter 39, the boys argue about details of their plot. What further revelations of their characters emerge?

80. What is Twain's purpose in including Tom's plans?

Vocabulary for Ch. 34 - 39

1. insurrection 2. garret 3. inscription 4. tedious

Chapter 40 - 43

81. Why was Tom "the gladdest of all because he had a bullet in the calf of his leg"?

82. What assessment of Jim does Huck make?

83. What is the irony of the doctor's comment about Jim?

84. What is significant in Tom's revelation of Jim's freedom?

85. What is Huck's reaction to the news?

86. What is the significance of the final chapter title, "Nothing More to Write"?

87. What does Jim's revelation of Pap's death mean?

Vocabulary for Ch. 40 - 43

1. brash 2. ascend 3. singular 4. tapering off


1. What is Huck's original opinion of Tom?

2. How does Huck change his mind about Tom?

3. What is Huck's attitude toward Jim at the beginning?

4. What forces affect Huck's opinion of Jim?

5. What is Huck's original opinion of slavery and how does it change?

6. What does Huck learn about the difference between the inside and outside of people?

7. How does Huck view the King and the Duke?

8. What is his final appraisal of the two scoundrels?

9. What identity does Huck have at the beginning of the novel?

10. How does Huck create a real identity for himself?


1. What is Twain's view of society?

2. What is Twain's view of religion?

3. What is Twain's view of man as an individual vs. man as part of a group?

4. What is Twain's attitude toward nature?