реферат скачать
Главная | Карта сайта
реферат скачать

реферат скачать

реферат скачать
... А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

реферат скачать
Введите фамилию автора:

American Literature books summary

"a book which people praise and don't read."


Huckleberry Finn { The protagonist and narrator of the novel. Huck is

the thirteen or fourteen year-old son of the local drunk in the town of St.

Petersburg, Missouri, at the start of the novel. He is kidnapped by his

father, Pap, from the "sivilizing" in uence of the Widow Douglas and Miss

Watson, and then fakes his own death to escape. He meets Jim on Jackson's

Island. The rest of the novel is largely motivated by two conflicts: the

external con ict to achieve Jim's freedom, and the internal con ict within

Huck between his own sense of right and wrong and society's. Huck has a

series of "adventures," making many observations on human nature and the

South as he does. He progressively rejects the values of the dominant

society and matures morally as he does. Jim { A slave who escaped from Miss

Watson after she considered selling him down river. He encounters Huck on

Jackson's Island, and the two become friends and spend most of the rest of

the novel together. Jim deeply grieves his separation from his wife and two

children and dreams of getting them back. He is an intensely human

character, perhaps the novel's most complex. Through his example, Huck

learns to appreciate the humanity of black people, overcoming his society's

bigotry and making a break with its moral code. Twain also uses him to

demonstrate racial equality. But Jim himself remains somewhat enigmatic; he

seems both comrade and father figure to Huck, though Huck, the youthful

narrator, may not be able to thoroughly evaluate his friend, and so the

reader has to suppose some of his qualities.

The Duke and Dauphin { These two criminals appear for much of the

novel. Their real names are never given, but the younger man, about thirty

years old, claims to be the Duke of Bridgewater, and is called both "the

Duke" and "Bridgewater" in the novel, though for the sake of clarity, he is

only called "the Duke" here. The much older man claims to be the son of

Louis XVI, the executed French king. "Dauphin" was the title given to heirs

to the French throne. He is mostly called "the king" in the novel (since

his father is dead, he would be the rightful king), though he is called

"the Dauphin" in this study guide since the name is more distinctive. The

two show themselves to be truly bad when they separate a slave family at

the Wilks household, and later sell Jim.

Tom Sawyer { Huck's friend, and the protagonist of Tom Sawyer, the

novel for which Huckleberry Finn is ostensibly the sequel. He is in many

ways Huck's foil, given to exotic plans and romantic adventure literature,

while Huck is more down-to-earth. He also turns out to be profoundly


On the whole, Tom is identified with the "civilzation" from which Huck

is alienated. Other characters, in order of appearance Widow Douglas and

Miss Watson { Two wealthy sisters who live together in a large house in St.

Petersburg. Miss Watson is the older sister, gaunt and severe-looking. She

also adheres the strongest to the hypocritical religious and ethical values

of the dominant society. Widow Douglas, meanwhile, is somewhat gentler in

her beliefs and has more patience with the mischievous Huckleberry. She

adopted Huck at the end of the last novel, Tom Sawyer, and he is in her

care at the start of Huckleberry Finn. When Miss Watson considers selling

Jim down to New Orleans, away from his wife and children and deep into the

plantation system, Jim escapes. She eventually repents, making provision in

her will for Jim to be freed, and dies two months before the novel ends.

Pap { Huckleberry's father and the town drunk and ne'er- do-well. When

he appears at the beginning of the novel, he is a human wreck, his skin a

disgusting ghost-like white, and his clothes hopelessly tattered. Like

Huck, he is a member of the least privileged class of whites, and is

illiterate. He is angry that his son is getting an education. He wants to

get hold of Huck's money, presumably to spend it on alcohol. He kidnaps

Huck and holds him deep in the woods. When Huck fakes his own murder, Pap

is nearly lynched when suspicions turn his way. But he escapes, and Jim

eventually finds his dead body on an abandoned houseboat.

Judge Thatcher { Judge Thatcher is in charge of safeguarding the money

Huck and Tom won at the end of Tom Sawyer. When Huck discovers his father

has come to town, he wisely signs his fortune over to the Judge. Judge

Thatcher has a daughter, Becky, whom Huck calls "Bessie."

Aunt Polly { Tom Sawyer's aunt and guardian. She appears at the end of

Huckleberry Finn and properly identifies Huck, who has pretended to be Tom;

and Tom, who has pretended to be his brother, Sid (who never appears in

this novel).

The Grangerfords { The master of the Grangerford clan is

"Colonel"Grangerford, who has a wife. The children are Bob, the oldest,

then Tom, then Charlotte, aged twenty- five, Sophia, twenty, and Buck, the

youngest, about thirteen or fourteen. They also had a deceased daughter,

Emme- line, who made unintentionally humorous, maudlin pictures and poems

for the dead. Huckleberry thinks the Grangerfords are all physically

beautiful. They live on a large estate worked by many slaves. Their house

is decked out in humorously tacky finery that Huckleberry innocently

admires. The Grangerfords are in a feud with the Shepardsons, though no one

can remember the cause of the feud or see any real reason to continue it.

When Sophia runs off with a Shepardson, the feud reignites, and Buck and

another boy are shot. With the Grangerfords and the Shepardsons, Twain

illustrates the bouts of irrational brutality to which the South was prone.

The Wilks Family { The deceased Peter Wilks has three daughters, Mary

Jane, Susan, and Joanne (whom Huck calls "the Harelip"). Mary Jane, the

oldest, takes charge of the sisters' afiairs. She is beautiful and kind-

hearted, but easily swindled by the Duke and Dauphin. Susan is the next

youngest. Joanna possess a cleft palate (a birth defect) and so Huck

somewhat tastelessly refers to her as "the Hare Lip" (another name for

cleft palate). She initially suspects Huck and the Duke and Dauphin, but

eventually falls for the scheme like the others.

The Phelps family { The Phelps family includes Aunt Sally, Uncle Silas

and their children. They also own several slaves. Sally and Silas are

generally kind-hearted, and Silas in particular is a complete innocent. Tom

and Huck are able to continue playing pranks on them for quite some time

before they suspect anything is wrong. Sally, however, displays a chilling

level of bigotry toward blacks, which many of her fellow Southerners likely

share. The town

in which they live also cruelly kills the Duke and Dauphin. With the

Phelps, Twain contrasts the good side of Southern civilization with its bad



Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was finally published in 1885. Twain had

begun the book years earlier, but the writing was done in spurts of

inspiration interrupted by long periods during which the manuscript sat in

the author's desk. Despite the economic crisis that plagued the United

States then, the book became a huge popular and financial success. It would

become a classic of American literature and receive acclaim around the

world{today it has been published in at least twenty-seven languages.

Still, at the time of publication, the author was bothered by the many

bad reviews it received in the national press. The book was principally

attacked for its alleged indecency. After the 1950s, the chief attacks on

the book would be against its alleged racism or racial bigotry. For various

reasons, the book frequently has been banned from US schools and children's

libraries, though it was never really intended as a children's book.

Nonetheless, the book has been widely read ever since its first publication

well over a century ago, an exception to Twain's definition of a classic as

"a book which people praise and don't read."

Chapter 1 Summary

The narrator (later identified as Huckleberry Finn) begins Chapter One

by stating that the reader may know of him from another book, The

Adventures of Tom Sawyer by "Mr. Mark Twain," but it "ain't t no matter" if

you have not. According to Huck, Twain mostly told the truth, with some

"stretchers" thrown in, though everyone{except Tom's Aunt Polly, the widow,

and maybe Mary{lies once in a while. The other book ended with Tom and

Huckleberry finding the gold some robbers had hidden in a cave. They got

six thousand dollars apiece, which Judge Thatcher put in trust, so that

they each got a dollar a day from interest. The Widow Douglas adopted and

tried to "civilise" Huck. But Huck couldn't stand it so he threw on his old

rags and ran away. But he went back when Tom Sawyer told him he could join

his new band of robbers if he would return to the Widow "and be


The Widow lamented over her failure with Huck, tried to stufi him into

cramped clothing, and before every meal had to "grumble" over the food

before they could eat it. She tried to teach him about Moses, until Huck

found out he was dead and lost interest. Meanwhile, she would not let him

smoke; typically, she disapproved of it because she had never tried it, but

approved of snufi since she used it herself. Her slim sister who wears

glasses, Miss Watson, tried to give him spelling lessons.

Meanwhile, Huck was going stir-crazy, made especially restless by the

sisters' constant reminders to improve his behavior. When Miss Watson told

him about the "bad place," Hell, he burst out that he would like to go

there, as a change of scenery. Secretly, Huck really does not see the point

in going to "the good place" and resolved then not to bother trying to get


When Huck asked, Miss Watson told him there was no chance Tom Sawyer

would end up in Heaven. Huck was glad "because I wanted him and me to be

together." One night, after Miss Watson's prayer session with him and the

slaves, Huck goes to bed feeling "so lonesome I wished I was dead." He gets

shivers hearing the sounds of nature through his window. Huck accidentally

icks a spider into a candle, and is frightened by the bad omen. Just after

midnight, Huck hears movement below the window, and a "me-yow" sound, that

he responds to with another "me-yow." Climbing out the window onto the

shed, Huck finds Tom Sawyer waiting for him.

Chapters 2-3 Summary

Huck and Tom tiptoe through the garden. Huck trips on a root as he

passes the kitchen. Jim, a "big" slave, hears him from inside. Tom and Huck

crouch down, trying to stay still. But Huck is struck by an uncontrollable

itch, as always happens when he is in a situation, like when he's "with the

quality," where it is bad to scratch. Jim says aloud that he will stay put

until he discovers the source of the sound, but after several minutes falls

asleep. Tom plays a trick on Jim{putting his hat on a tree branch over his

head{and takes candles from the kitchen, over Huck's objections that they

will risk getting caught. Later, Jim will say that some witches ew him

around the state and put the hat above his head as a calling card. He

expands the tale further, becoming a local celebrity among the slaves, who

enjoy witch stories. He wears around his neck the five-cent piece Tom left

for the candles, calling it a charm from the devil with the power to cure

sickness. Jim nearly becomes so stuck-up from his newfound celebrity that

he is unfit to be a servant.

Meanwhile, Tom and Huck meet up with a few other boys, and take a boat

to a large cave. There, Tom declares his new band of robbers, "Tom Sawyer's

Gang." All must sign in blood an oath vowing, among other things, to kill

the family of any member who reveals the gang's secrets. The boys think it

"a real beautiful oath." Tom admits he got part of it from books. The boys

nearly disqualify Huck, who has no family but a drunken father who can

never be found, until Huck offers Miss Watson. Tom says the gang must

capture and ransom people, though nobody knows what "ransom" means.

Tom assumes it means to kill them. But anyway, it must be done since

all the books say so. When one boy cries to go home and threatens to tell

the group's secrets, Tom bribes him with five cents. They agree to meet

again someday, just not Sunday, which would be blasphemous. Huckleberry

makes it back into bed just before dawn.

Miss Watson tries to explain prayer to Huckleberry in Chapter Three.

Huckleberry gives up on it after not getting what he prays for. Miss Watson

calls him a fool, and explains prayer bestows spiritual gifts like sel

essness to help others. Huck cannot see any advantage in this, except for

the others one helps. So he resolves to forget it. Widow Douglas describes

a wonderful God, while Miss Watson's is terrible. Huck concludes there are

two Gods. He would like to belong to Widow Douglas's, if He would take him

– unlikely because of Huck's bad qualities.

Meanwhile, a rumor circulates that Huck's Pap, who has not been seen in

a year, is dead. A corpse was found in the river, thought to be Pap because

of its "ragged" appearance, though the face is unrecognizable. At first

Huck is relieved. His father had been a drunk who beat him when he was

sober, though Huck stayed hidden from him most of the time. Soon, however,

Huck doubts his father's death, and expects to see him again.

After a month in Tom's gang, Huck quit along with the rest of the boys.

There was no point to it, without any robbery or killing, their activities

being all pretend. Once, Tom pretended a caravan of Arabs and Spaniards

were going to encamp nearby with hundreds of camels and elephants. It

turned out to be a Sunday school picnic. Tom explained it really was a

caravan of Arabs and Spaniards - only they were enchanted, like in Don

Quixote. Huckleberry judged Tom's stories of genies to be lies, after

rubbing old lamps and rings with no result.

Chapters 4-6 Summary

In Chapter Four, Huckleberry is gradually adjusting to his new life,

and even making small progress in school. One winter morning, Huck notices

boot tracks in the snow near the house. Within one heel print is the shape

of two nails crossed to ward off the devil. Huck runs to Judge Thatcher,

looking over his shoulder as he does. He sells his fortune to the surprised

Judge for a dollar. That night Huck goes to Jim, who has a magical giant

hairball from an ox's stomach. Huck tells Jim he found Pap's tracks in the

snow and wants to know what his father wants. Jim says the hairball needs

money to talk, and so Huck gives a counterfeit quarter. Jim puts his ear to

the hairball, and relates that Huck's father has two angels, one black and

one white, one bad, one good. It is uncertain which will win out. But Huck

is safe for now. He will have much happiness and much sorrow in his life,

will marry a poor and then a rich woman, and should stay clear of the

water, since that is where he will die. That night, Huck finds Pap waiting

in his bedroom!

Pap's long, greasy, black hair hangs over his face. The nearly fifty-

year-old man's skin is a ghastly, disgusting white. Noticing Huck's

"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

Страницы: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

реферат скачать
НОВОСТИ реферат скачать
реферат скачать
ВХОД реферат скачать
забыли пароль?

реферат скачать    
реферат скачать
ТЕГИ реферат скачать

Рефераты бесплатно, курсовые, дипломы, научные работы, реферат бесплатно, сочинения, курсовые работы, реферат, доклады, рефераты, рефераты скачать, рефераты на тему и многое другое.

Copyright © 2012 г.
При использовании материалов - ссылка на сайт обязательна.