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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
CHAPTER 17: The Grangerfords Take Me In
Hearing the commotion outside, someone calls out of the window asking who is there. Huck replies that his name is George Jackson and that he has fallen off a steamboat. He states that he wants to be on his way, but the dogs are holding him up. Huck is next questioned if he has anybody with him and if he knows the Shephardsons. To both these questions, Huck answers in the negative. He is then asked to come inside, where he is inspected closely to make sure he is not one of the Shephardsons.
Huck is taken upstairs by Buck, a boy who is about his own age, and is given fresh clothes. When he is dressed, he is led down for supper. Huck cleverly weaves a story about how he had a loving family, but it was broken up due to the death of his mother and brothers and his sister running off. They believe Huck and offer him a home for as long as he wishes to stay. When he wakes up the next morning, he forgets his name but smartly turns to Buck and asks him if he could spell his name for him. An unsuspecting Buck spells out George Jackson. After breakfast, Huck is allowed to go exploring the grand house and is struck by its beauty.
In this chapter, Twain gives a picture of life in ante-bellum plantation society. The description of the furnishings and lifestyle present the affluent and aristocratic plantation life, where each member of the family has a servant. Huck, as a guest in the home, is also provided one for the duration of his stay. But Twain satirizes much of what is portrayed, for the family holds on to a false sense of honor, the decorations in the house are cheap objects of art, and the poetry that is read is sentimental and morbid.