Рефераты. American Literature books summary

"starchy" clothes, Pap wonders aloud if he thinks himself better than his

father, promising to take him "down a peg." Pap promises to teach Widow

Douglas not to "meddle" and make a boy "put on airs over his own father."

Pap is outraged that Huck has become the first person in his family to

learn to read. He threatens Huck not to go near the school again. He asks

Huck if he is really rich, as he has heard, and calls him a liar when he

says he has no more money.

He takes the dollar Huck got from Judge Thatcher. He leaves to get

whiskey, and the next day, drunk, demands Huck's money from Judge Thatcher.

The Judge and Widow Douglas try to get custody of Huck, but give up after

the new judge in town refuses to separate a father from his son. Pap lands

in jail after a drunken spree. The new judge takes Pap into his home and

tries to reform him. Pap tearfully repents his ways but soon gets drunk

again. The new judge decides Pap cannot be reformed except with a shotgun.

Pap sues Judge Thatcher for Huck's fortune. He also continues to

threaten Huck about attending school, which Huck does partly to spite his

father. Pap goes on one drunken binge after another. One day he kidnaps

Huck and takes him deep into the woods, to a secluded cabin on the Illinois

shore. He locks Huck inside all day while he goes out. Huck enjoys being

away from civilization again, though he does not like his father's beatings

and his drinking. Eventually, Huck finds an old saw hidden away. He slowly

makes a hole in the wall while his father is away, resolved to escape from

both Pap and the Widow Douglas. But Pap returns as Huck is about to finish.

He complains about the "govment," saying Judge Thatcher has delayed the

trial to prevent Pap from getting Huck's wealth. He has heard his chances

are good, though he will probably lose the fight for custody of Huck. He

further rails against a biracial black visitor to the town. The visitor is

well dressed, university- educated, and not at all deferential. Pap is

disgusted that the visitor can vote in his home state, and that legally he

cannot be sold into slavery until he has been in the state six months.

Later, Pap wakes from a drunken sleep and chases after Huck with a knife,

calling him the "Angel of Death," stopping when he collapses in sleep. Huck

holds the ri e against his sleeping father and waits.

Chapters 7-10 Summary

Huck falls asleep, to be awakened by Pap, who is unaware of the night's

events. Pap sends Huck out to check for fish. Huck finds a canoe drifting

in the river and hides it in the woods. When Pap leaves for the day, Huck

finishes sawing his way out of the cabin. He puts food, cookware,

everything of value in the cabin, into the canoe. He covers up the hole in

the wall and then shoots a wild pig. He hacks down the cabin door, hacks

the pig to bleed onto the cabin's dirt oor, and makes other preparations so

that it seems robbers came and killed him. Huck goes to the canoe and waits

for the moon to rise, resolving to canoe to Jackson's Island, but falls

asleep. When he wakes he sees Pap row by. Once he has passed, Huck quietly

sets out down river. He pulls into Jackson's Island, careful not to be


The next morning in Chapter Eight, a boat passes by with Pap, Judge and

Becky Thatcher, Tom Sawyer, his Aunt Polly, some of Huck's young friends,

and "plenty more" on board, all discussing the murder. They shoot cannon

over the water and oat loaves of bread with mercury inside, in hopes of

locating Huck's corpse. Huck, careful not to be seen, catches a loaf and

eats it.

Exploring the island, Huck is delighted to find Jim, who at first

thinks Huck is a ghost. Now Huck won't be lonely anymore. Huck is shocked

when Jim explains he ran away. Jim overheard Miss Watson discussing selling

him for eight hundred dollars, to a slave trader who would take him to New

Orleans. He left before she had a chance to decide. Jim displays a great

knowledge of superstition. He tells Huck how he once "speculated" ten

dollars in (live)stock, but lost most of it when the steer died. He then

lost five dollars in a failed slave start-up bank. He gave his last ten

cents to a slave, who gave it away after a preacher told him that charity

repays itself one-hundred-fold. It didn't. But Jim still has his hairy arms

and chest, a portent of future wealth. He also now owns all eight-hundred-

dollars' worth of himself.

In Chapter Nine, Jim and Huck take the canoe and provisions into the

large cavern in the middle of the island, to have a hiding place in case of

visitors, and to protect their things. Jim predicted it would rain, and

soon it downpours, with the two safely inside the cavern. The river oods


A washed-out houseboat oats down the river past the island. Jim and

Huck find a man's body inside, shot in the back. Jim prevents Huck from

looking at the face; it's too "ghastly." They make off with some odds and

ends. Huck has Jim hide in the bottom of the canoe so he won't be seen.

They make it back safely to the cave.

In Chapter Ten, Huck wonders about the dead man, though Jim warns it's

bad luck. Sure enough, bad luck comes: as a joke, Huck puts a dead

rattlesnake near Jim's sleeping place, and its mate comes and bites Jim.

Jim's leg swells, but after four days it goes down. A while later, Huck

decides to go ashore and to find out what's new. Jim agrees, but has Huck

disguise himself as a girl, with one of the dresses they took from the


Huck practices his girl impersonation, then sets out for the Illinois

shore. In a formerly abandoned shack, he finds a woman who looks forty, and

also appears a newcomer. Huck is relieved she is a newcomer, since she will

not be able to recognize him.

Chapters 11-13 Summary

The woman eyes Huckleberry somewhat suspiciously as she lets him in.

Huck introduces himself as "Sarah Williams," from Hookerville. The woman

"clatters on," eventually getting to Huck's murder. She reveals that Pap

was suspected and nearly lynched, but people came to suspect Jim, since he

ran away the same day Huck was killed. There is a three- hundred-dollar

price on Jim's head. But soon, suspicions turned again to Pap, after he

blew money the judge gave him to find Jim on drink. But he left town before

he could be lynched, and now there is two hundred dollars on his head. The

woman has noticed smoke over on Jackson's Island, and, suspecting that Jim

might be hiding there, told her husband to look. He will go there tonight

with another man and a gun. The woman looks at Huck suspiciously and asks

his name.

He replies, "Mary Williams." When the woman asks about the change, he

covers himself, saying his full name is "Sarah Mary Williams." She has him

try to kill a rat by pitching a lump of lead at it, and he nearly hits.

Finally, she asks him to reveal his (male) identity, saying she understands

that he is a runaway apprentice and will not turn him in. He says his name

is George Peters, and he was indeed apprenticed to a mean farmer. She lets

him go after quizzing him on farm subjects, to make sure he's telling the

truth. She tells him to send for her, Mrs. Judith Loftus, if he has

trouble. Back at the island, Huck tells Jim they must shove off, and they

hurriedly pack their things and slowly ride out on a raft they had found.

Huck and Jim build a wigwam on the raft in Chapter Twelve. They spend a

number of days drifting down river, passing the great lights of St. Louis

on the fifth night. They "lived pretty high," buying, "borrowing", or

hunting food as they need it. One night they come upon a wreaked steamship.

Over Jim's objections, Huck goes onto the wreck, to loot it and have an

"adventure," the way Tom Sawyer would. On the wreck, Huck overhears two

robbers threatening to kill a third so that he won't "talk."

One of the two manages to convince the other to let their victim be

drowned with the wreck. They leave. Huck finds Jim and says they have to

cut the robbers' boat loose so they can't escape. Jim says that their own

raft has broken loose and oated away. Huck and Jim head for the robbers'

boat in Chapter Thirteen. The robbers put some booty in the boat, but leave

to get some more money off the man on the steamboat. Jim and Huck jump

right into the boat and head off as quietly as possible. A few hundred

yards safely away, Huck feels bad for the robbers left stranded on the

wreck since, who knows, he may end up a robber himself someday. They find

their raft just before they stop for Huck to go ashore for help. Ashore,

Huck finds a ferry watchman, and tells him his family is stranded on the

steamboat wreck. The watchman tell him the wreck is of the Walter Scott.

Huck invents an elaborate story as to how his family got on the wreck,

including the niece of a local big shot among them, so that the man is more

than happy to take his ferry to help. Huck feels good about his good deed,

and thinks Widow Douglas would have been proud of him. Jim and Huck turn

into an island, and sink the robbers' boat before going to bed.

Chapters 14-16 Summary

Jim and Huck find a number of valuables among the robbers' booty in

Chapter Fourteen, mostly trinkets and cigars. Jim says he doesn't enjoy

Huck's "adventures," since they risk his getting caught. Huck recognizes

that Jim is intelligent, at least for what Huck thinks of a black person.

Huck astonishes Jim with his stories of kings. Jim had only heard of King

Solomon, whom he considers a fool for wanting to chop a baby in half. Huck

cannot convince Jim otherwise. Huck also tells Jim about the "dolphin," son

of the executed King Louis XVI of France, rumored to be wandering America.

Jim is incredulous when Huck explains that the French do not speak English,

but another language. Huck tries to argue the point with Jim, but gives up

in defeat.

Huck and Jim are nearing the Ohio River, their goal, in Chapter

Fifteen. But one densely foggy night, Huck, in the canoe, gets separated

from Jim and the raft. He tries to paddle back to it, but the fog is so

thick he loses all sense of direction. After a lonely time adrift, Huck is

reunited with Jim, who is asleep on the raft. Jim is thrilled to see Huck

alive. But Huck tries to trick Jim, pretending he dreamed their entire

separation. Jim tells Huck the story of his dream, making the fog and the

troubles he faced on the raft into an allegory of their journey to the free

states. But soon Jim notices all the debris, dirt and tree branches, that

collected on the raft while it was adrift.

He gets mad at Huck for making a fool of him after he had worried about

him so much. "It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go

and humble myself to a nigger," but Huck apologizes, and does not regret

it. He feels bad about hurting Jim. Jim and Huck hope they don't miss

Cairo, the town at the mouth of the Ohio River, which runs into the free

states. Meanwhile, Huck's conscience troubles him deeply about helping Jim

escape from his "rightful owner," Miss Watson, especially after her

consideration for Huck. Jim can't stop talking about going to the free

states, especially about his plan to earn money to buy his wife and

children's freedom, or have some abolitionists kidnap them if their masters

refuse. When they think they see Cairo, Jim goes out on the canoe to check,

secretly resolved to give Jim up. But his heart softens when he hears Jim

call out that he is his only friend, the only one to keep a promise to him.

Huck comes upon some men in a boat who want to search his raft for escaped

slaves. Huck pretends to be grateful, saying no one else would help them.

He leads them to believe his family, on board the raft, has smallpox. The

men back away, telling Huck to go further downstream and lie about his

family's condition to get help. They leave forty dollars in gold out of

pity. Huck feels bad for having done wrong by not giving Jim up.

But he realizes that he would have felt just as bad if he had given Jim

up. Since good and bad seem to have the same results, Huck resolves to

disregard morality in the future and do what's "handiest." Floating along,

they pass several towns that are not Cairo, and worry that they passed it

in the fog. They stop for the night, and resolve to take the canoe upriver,

but in the morning it is gone{ more bad luck from the rattlesnake. Later, a

steamboat drives right into the raft, breaking it apart. Jim and Huck dive

off in time, but are separated. Huck makes it ashore, but is caught by a

pack of dogs.

Chapters 17-19 Summary

A man finds Huck in Chapter Seventeen and calls off the dogs. Huck

introduces himself as George Jackson. The man brings "George" home, where

he is eyed cautiously as a possible member of the Sheperdson family. But

they decide he is not. The lady of the house has Buck, a boy about Huck's

age (thirteen or fourteen) get Huck some dry clothes. Buck says he would

have killed a Shepardson if there had been any. Buck tells Huck a riddle,

though Huck does not understand the concept of riddles. Buck says Huck must

stay with him and they will have great fun. Huck invents an elaborate story

of how he was orphaned. The family, the Grangerfords, offer to let him stay

with them for as long as he likes. Huck innocently admires the house and

its (humorously tacky) finery. He similarly admires the work of a deceased

daughter, Emmeline, who created (unintentionally funny) maudlin pictures

and poems about people who died. "Nothing couldn't be better" than life at

the comfortable house.

Huck admires Colonel Grangerford, the master of the house, and his

supposed gentility. He is a warm- hearted man, treated with great courtesy

by everyone. He own a very large estate with over a hundred slaves. The

family's children, besides Buck, are Bob, the oldest, then Tom, then

Charlotte, aged twenty-five, and Sophia, twenty, all of them beautiful.

Three sons have been killed. One day, Buck tries to shoot Harney

Shepardson, but misses. Huck asks why he wanted to kill him. Buck explains

the Grangerfords are in a feud with a neighboring clan of families, the

Shepardsons, who are as grand as they are. No one can remember how the feud

started, or name a purpose for it, but in the last year two people have

been killed, including a fourteen-year-old Grangerford. Buck declares the

Shepardson men all brave. The two families attend church together, their ri

es between their knees as the minister preaches about brotherly love. After

church one day, Sophia has Huck retrieve a bible from the pews. She is

delighted to find inside a note with the words "two-thirty." Later, Huck's

slave valet leads him deep into the swamp, telling him he wants to show him

some water-moccasins. There he finds Jim! Jim had followed Huck to the

shore the night they were wrecked, but did not dare call out for fear of

being caught. In the last few days he has repaired the raft and bought

supplies to replace what was lost. The next day Huck learns that Sophie has

run off with a Shepardson boy. In the woods, Huck finds Buck and a nineteen-

year-old Grangerford in a gun-fight with the Shepardsons. The two are later

killed. Deeply disturbed, Huck heads for Jim and the raft, and the two

shove off downstream. Huck notes, "You feel mighty free and easy and

comfortable on a raft."

Huck and Jim are lazily drifting down the river in Chapter Nineteen.

One day they come upon two men on shore eeing some trouble and begging to

be let onto the raft. Huck takes them a mile downstream to safety. One man

is about seventy, bald, with whiskers, the other, thirty. Both men's

clothes are badly tattered. The men do not know each other but are in

similar predicaments. The younger man had been selling a paste to remove

tartar from teeth that takes much of the enamel off with it. He ran out to

avoid the locals' ire. The other had run a temperance (sobriety) revival

meeting, but had to ee after word got out that he drank. The two men, both

professional scam-artists, decide to team up. The younger man declares

himself an impoverished English duke, and gets Huck and Jim to wait on him

and treat him like royalty. The old man then reveals his true identity as

the Dauphin, Louis XVI's long lost son. Huck and Jim then wait on him as

they had the "duke." Soon Huck realizes the two are liars, but to prevent

"quarrels," does not let on that he knows.

Chapters 20-22 Summary

The Duke and Dauphin ask whether Jim is a runaway, and so Huckleberry

concocts a tale of how he was orphaned, and he and Jim were forced to

travel at night since so many people stopped his boat to ask whether Jim

was a runaway. That night, the two royals take Jim and Huck's beds while

they stand watch against a storm. The next morning, the Duke gets the

Dauphin to agree to put on a performance of Shakespeare in the next town

they cross. Everyone in the town has left for a revival meeting in the

woods. The meeting is a lively afiair of several thousand people singing

and shouting.

The Dauphin gets up and declares himself a former pirate, now reformed

by the meeting, who will return to the Indian Ocean as a missionary. The

crowd joyfully takes up a collection, netting the Dauphin eighty-seven

dollars and seventy-five cents, and many kisses from pretty young women.

Meanwhile, the Duke took over the deserted print offce and got nine and a

half dollars selling advertisements in the local newspaper. The Duke also

prints up a handbill offering a reward for Jim, so that they can travel

freely by day and tell whoever asks about Jim that the slave is their

captive. The Duke and Dauphin practice the balcony scene from Romeo and

Juliet and the sword fight from Richard III on the raft in Chapter Twenty-


The duke also works on his recitation of Hamlet's "To be or not to be,"

soliloquy, which he has butchered, throwing in lines from other parts of

the play, and even Macbeth. But to Huck, the Duke seems to possess a great

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