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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
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ANSWERS

TEST 1

1. B 2. C 3. A 4. D 5. A 6. B 7. C 8. D 9. A 10. D

11. Before you look back into the book for information on a question like this one, trust your memory to get you started. Make a list of some of the sharp-eyed observations you remember Huck making (many will be humorous), and a separate list of cases where he missed what was really going on.

The first list might include his comparing Tom Sawyer's fantasizing with Sunday School and his observation that "you can't pray a lie." The second list could start with his evaluation of the Grangerfords' household and his general attitude toward Tom Sawyer.

After you start the lists on your own, look through the chapter headings to refresh your memory about things Huck comments on. You'll probably find more examples than you'll need for an essay. When you've collected five or six examples for each list, you can begin a first draft of a paragraph (or more) for each one. For each example you should mention the observation Huck makes, explain the setting, if it's important, and show how Huck's comment is either a sharp observation or a naive one. -

12. One way to approach this question is to list all the incidents you can remember that involved Huck lying or talking about lying. The earliest mention of lying is when Huck turns his money over to the judge so he won't have to tell a lie to his father. He's also reluctant to lie to the two men on the river who ask if Jim is a runaway slave.


On the other hand, he lies to many of the people he meets, and usually with the style of a veteran. You'll find plenty of examples of incidents when a respect for the truth seemed the farthest thing from his mind. To answer the question, you'll have to find the distinction between the lies he tells readily and those that trouble him. It would help if your reread "You Can't Pray a Lie." In that chapter Huck talks at length about truth, and you'll find some clues to his real feelings about lying. -

13. For a good example of what happens to Huck's language when he talks of the river, reread the beginning of Chapter 12, up to the sentence, "Take it all around, we lived pretty high." Then read a section in which he describes events, like the scene in Chapter 19 when the duke and dauphin first come to the raft.

In the river scene, you'll find many references to concrete details, like the size of the river, the sounds Huck hears, the lights of a town, the names of foods. All these sense details make you see and hear, and often taste and smell, the things Huck experiences.

In contrast, the "action" scenes are dominated by dialogue and events. The language is plain, direct, and matter-of-fact, with little or no physical detail. -

14. At one point, when he's especially annoyed by the con men, Huck says he learned from living with his father that it's best not to argue with people who take firm stands on things. That answers the first two parts of the question. The third part will take some thought.

If he'd rather not deal with people who stand on principle, or honor, or anything else, then he probably isn't very deeply committed to anything himself. He'd never try to argue anyone out of a belief, and he expects others to leave him alone in return. In other words, his tolerance doesn't come from being broad-minded; it comes from not caring about much beyond his immediate needs and desires. -

15. Early in the book, Jim has all the earmarks of a stereotype. He seems to be a caricature instead of a real person. He's overly humble, he obeys the boys in spite of his age, he's foolishly superstitious, and for a grown man, he's very dependent on Huck, It probably would have been easy to find such characteristics in many 19th-century slaves; but if Twain's portrait went no deeper than this, it would be a stereotype, even if it was based on truth. The portrait of Jim, though, goes much deeper.

Jim's determination to earn enough money to buy his wife and children makes a sharp contrast with the shuffling slave we might have thought he was. His anger at Huck for playing a cruel joke shows his excessive humility to be just a veneer he's been taught to wear. And the feeling he expresses for Huck and for his family are so moving that they lead Huck eventually to risk going to hell to help him. -

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