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MonkeyNotes Study Guide-Huckleberry Finn-Huck Finn-Free Booknotes Synopsis
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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS

SETTING

The novel is set in mid-19th Century America. The first few chapters are set in St.Petersburg, Missouri, where Huck is adopted by the Widow Douglas, who tries to civilize him. He attends the local school and church, and among his friends are Tom Sawyer, Ben Rogers, and Joe Harper. The town is patterned after Hannibal, Missouri, where Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) spent his childhood. It is located on the Mississippi River about 80 miles from St. Louis, Missouri.

Most of the novel’s setting is the Mississippi River as it runs deep in the south. The river has a “living” quality, and Huck is in perpetual adoration of the its power and charm. After each of his forays onto the shore, he comes back to the raft and the river with a sense of thanksgiving and relief. The river in itself is benign and divine, especially for those who love it and try to fit themselves into its many moods and ways.

LIST OF CHARACTERS

MAJOR CHARACTERS

Huck Finn

The protagonist of the novel and the son of the town drunk. He is about 12 years old.

Jim

The runaway slave of Miss Watson’s, whom Huck helps to gain freedom.

Widow Douglas

Huck’s guardian who adopts him and wants to civilize him.

Pap

Huck’s father who comes back to town when he learns that his son has become rich.

Tom Sawyer

A friend of Huck who is about his same age.


The Duke and the Dauphin

Two friends who go about fooling people and relieving them of their money. They join Huck and Jim on the raft.

MINOR CHARACTERS

Miss Watson

Widow Douglas’ sister, who tutors Huck.

Ben Rogers

A friend of Huck’s, who is also a part of Tom Sawyer’s gang.

Joe Harper

Another friend of Huck’s.

Judge Thatcher

A judge in St. Petersburg and the custodian of Huck’s money.

The Grangerfords and the Shephardsons

Two feuding families with whom Huck gets involved.

Mrs. Judith Loftus

The new woman in St. Petersburg from whom Huck learns that people are planning to come and explore Jackson’s Island.

Bill, Packard, and Turner

The three thieves that Jim and Huck find in a houseboat.

Boggs

A drunk in a small Arkansas town who gets killed in broad daylight.

Col. Sherburn

The man who kills Boggs.

Peter Wilks

The man who dies in Pikesville, leaving behind a plantation for his three nieces.

Mary Jane, Susan, and Joanna

The three Wilks’ girls whom the Duke and the Dauphin almost succeed in cheating.

William and Harvey

The two heirs to the Wilks farm who arrive after the funeral.

Dr. Robinson

The first man to see through the Duke and the Dauphin’s disguise and suspect them to be frauds.

Levi Bell

The lawyer with whom Dr. Robinson conducts the investigation to find out the real heirs.

Rev. Hobson

The preacher who performs the funeral service of Peter Wilks.

The Phelps

The family which bought Jim from the king. They also happen to be Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle.

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