Huckleberry Finn Reading Guide

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1. What doesn’t Huck like about the Widow Douglas?
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He doesn’t like that they’re civilized and try to keep him from doing what he wants.
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2. What does Jim think has happened to him as a result of the trick that Tom plays on him?
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Witches! They took his hat!
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3. How does Huck know that the drowned body is not his Pap?
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The body was floating on it’s face… which is a woman.
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4. When Tom’s gang raids the “Spanish merchants and rich Arabs” what is it they actually do?
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They discovered a Sunday school picnic
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5. Where does Miss Watson take Huck to pray?
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He prays in the closet
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6. How would you compare the characters of Widow Douglas and Miss Watson? Who seems to be presented in a more favorable light? Why?
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They live in the same house. Widow is spiritual, and tries to convince Huck to do the right thing, in a nice way, But Watson is bossy, rude and demanding. Widow is nicer and is presented in a lighter note.
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7. What is the setting of the novel? Why is the time period in which it is set important?
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It’s in Missouri, near the Mississippi river. The time period is around the 1840’s. It’s important because it’s right before the civil war.
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8. How does Huck know his father has returned?
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His father has a customized boot print and he saw it in the snow.
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9. What does Huck do with his money? Why?
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He gives it to the judge so it isn’t easily accessible to his father.
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10. Why do the Widow Douglas and Judge Thatcher fail in their petition to become Huck’s guardians?
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Because they know his father is still alive and they don’t like separating families.
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11. Where does Huck’s father take him? Why?
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He takes him to an isolated cabin in the woods so he can raise him his way and so he can get all of his money.
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12. How does Huck escape from his father?
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He find a saw with a missing handles and uses it to cut his way out. Then he uses the water and a boat to swim away.
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13. How does Twain satirize “do-gooders” in his descriptions of Pap’s “reform”? How is the new judge different from Judge Thatcher and the Widow Douglas?
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The new judge thinks they can change the drunk pap just by giving him new clothes and some food and letting him keep Hick. It’s satirizing “do-gooders” in a way that not everyone can be good. The new judge is blind to past problems.
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14. Why does Huck think about Tom when he is working out his escape?
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He thinks about how he knows Tom would like it there and how he knew he’d add nice touches.
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15. Why has Jim run away from Miss Watson?
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Because she was going to see him in New Orleans for 800 dollars.
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16. What does Jim discover in the house that is floating down the river?
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There is a dead man there… and then they find all of their belongings.
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17. What prank does Huck play on Jim, and how does it backfire?
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He puts a dead snake near his leg… but then the snakes “mate” comes, wraps itself around the other snake, and then when Jim wakes up the snake bites him..
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18. What does Huck learn about Jim from his visit to Mrs. Loftus?
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He learns that there’s a money reward for anyone who can find Jim, because people think he killed Huck… so there’s many people out looking for him.
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19. How does Mrs. Loftus figure out Huck is not a girl?
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She figured out by the way he threads the needle, how he closed his legs when something was thrown, instead of opening them, and how he throws.
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20. How does Huck feel about not turning Jim in? Why do you think he feels that way?
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He isn’t going to turn him in, because he told him he wouldn’t, and he doesn’t want to go back on his word because people have called him an abolitionist. Also, he has no reason to tell because he doesn’t plan on ever going back to those people or that town.
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21. How would you characterize Jim’s predictions in these chapters?
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Uh, odd. Not sure if they’re realistic or just coincidental, because of the snake and rain. Too soon to know for sure.
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22. How do Huck and Jim avoid being seen while they are floating down the river?
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They make people think it’s empty by laying down.
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23. Whom do Huck and Jim discover on the wrecked steamboat?
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They find a few robbers on the boat who are planning to kill one of their own men!
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24. Why can’t Huck and Jim escape from the boat? How do they finally get away?
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They’re trapped on the boat with the robbers, because they’re draft came loose and floated away. They get away by stealing the murderers/robbers boat.
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25. What happens to the steamboat?
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He uses it to ride down the river, but it’s pretty much falling apart and under water, and it floats away.
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26. Where does Huck get his information about Dukes and Kings?
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He gets information from a combination of his imagination, and from books and stories the widow told him.
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27. What is the name of the steamboat? Why do you think Twain might have given her that name?
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The Steamboat is called Walter Scott, named after a famous English writer who wrote about old world chivalry, who he didn’t like. He is basically satirizing old Scott ideas, and saying that they are sinking.
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28.How accurate is Huck’s information about dukes and kings? Why?
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Not really accurate, because he basically made it up in a way. (IDK this answer help thnx)
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29. Why do you think Jim is so vehement in his dislike of King Solomon?
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Huck believes he’s made some bad decisions, including how too many wives would be too noisy, and how he shouldn’t have cut a baby in half without knowing where it was from.
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30. What does Jim’s stand tell us about him?
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I think it shows that he is actually a smart guy and not just some slave who will do what masters tell them to do, which is basically how all of the African Americans were like then.
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31. What is Huck and Jim’s plan to reach safe territory?
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They’re going to take a raft up to Cairo, and then find a way to get to the free states.
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32. What is Jim doing when Huck rejoins him after they are lost in the fog?
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Jim was asleep and Huck wakes him up.
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33. What is Jim’s response to Huck’s trick?
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At first, it takes some convincing from Huck to tell Jim it was all a dream- but Huck continues to lie, and eventually Jim starts to believe. Eventually, Huch told him it wasn’t a dream, and Jim gets really upset about how Huck was gone, and how thankful he was to see Huck. He was upset because Huck just made a joke out of it to Jim, but Huck apologizes.
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34. How does Huck convince the men looking for runaway slaves not to search the raft?
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He tells them it’s his father and that he’s really sick and Huck tells them that he needs a lot of help, but they just give him money.
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35. How do Huck and Jim know that they have passed Cairo?
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They can tell because they reach clear water, which tells them that they are in Ohio.
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36. What is the principal conflict in Huck’s mind about Jim?
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Huck thinks he should go turn Jim in, but he also doesn’t want to because they’ve become friend. But he also doesn’t want to hurt the widow because she has helped him… but then again he wants to see Jim as an equal.
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37. Does the reader’s attitude toward Jim change as a result of his response to Huck’s trick on him?
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The attitude slightly changes, and becomes some what afraid, because Jim couldn’t take the joke. But it also may upset the reader because they could sympathize with him.
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38. What is Huck’s response to Jim’s plans to steal his children after he reaches freedom?
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He didn’t necessarily like it, because the children legally/technically belong to Jim anymore.
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39. How does this response help to satirize a slave society?
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It’s reinforcing the fact that families can no longer be families with slavery in place, because they are often times forced apart.
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40. How is the steamboat portrayed at the end of Chapter 16?
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The steamboat portrays the obstacles they are facing. And it slightly portrays the relationship between Huck and Jim and how they’ve been through a lot.
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41. With Huck and Jim below Cairo, and the raft destroyed, where do you think the plot can go from here?
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I think they’ll probably just end up staying in the town their at for now, and start to maybe build a life there… until they find/build a new raft.
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42. After Huck forgets his name, how does he trick Buck into revealing it?
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He asks Buck if he can spell his own name, and after he does he asks if he can spell Hucks “name”.. and he does (wrong.. George Jaxon).
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43. What theme was Emmeline Grangerford most interested in?
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She was infatuated with death, and dead peoples obituaries. She wrote poetry about it.
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44. How does Huck rediscover Jim?
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They cross paths at the swamp, and it turns out Jim’s been living with the family slaves.
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45. What happened to the raft?
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They thought it was lost, but it was really just torn up. And the whole time they’ve been at the house Jim’s been working on it.
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46. Why does Huck feel responsible for the carnage following Sophia’s elopement?
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In church, Huck gets her bible and discovers a note in it saying a time, and he didn’t tell anyone. But then he told everyone that they ran away.
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47. What do you think Twain is satirizing in his description of Emmeline Grangerford’s poetry?
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He’s satirizing flowery poetry, and the romanticism of death.
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48. In Huck’s description of the church service and later the hogs that sleep under the church floor, do you think Twain is satirizing religion itself or the way some people practice religion?
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He satirizing the way some people Practice…. because sometimes they only go when they’re forced, but hogs go all the time.
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49. What theory does Jim come up with regarding the origin of the stars?
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Jim thinks the moon made the starts.
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50. How does Huck meet the men who later identify themselves as the duke and king?
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He meets them after he was picking berries and heard them coming from down the path.
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51. What had the duke and the king been doing before they met Huck?
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They were running away from police
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52. How does the king trick the people at the camp meeting?
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The king says he had been a pirate for 30 years and that he wants to go back to see to help pirates find God.
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53. How does the duke arrange for them to float by day?
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He prints a sign saying “Runaway” on it so it would look like they were just turning Jim in.
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54. How do Huck and Jim dress on the raft?
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At some point they’re wearing long robes and white wigs and royalty things. And Jim even wears some Arab things.
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55. What do you think clothes might be associated with in this novel?
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The clothes represent their ability to adapt to changing things, and so they can pretend to be different characters. And it allows them to move around without worrying about being exposed.
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56. Huck knows the king and duke are frauds from the beginning. Why does he pretend that he thinks they are the real thing?
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He pretends that they are real, because he doesn’t want to cross them since they remind him of Pap. He’d rather play along than stir up trouble.
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57. What characteristics do the people at the camp meeting display?
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Ignorance; they sing songs and laugh and cry with the king, not even realizing it’s not real.
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58. Do you think Twain approves of their behavior?
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He doesn’t, probably, because he use satire to make fun of them.
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59. What kind of show do the king and duke plan at first?
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A production of Romeo and Juliet- Shakespeare
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60. What does Sherburn do to Boggs?
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He shoots him twice.
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61. How is the first performance by the duke and king received?
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The people are embarrassed because they were ripped off… so they tell everyone else in town to go see it.
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62. What is the people’s response to the “Royal Nonesuch”?
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They’re angry and upset… they try to chase the king and duke away.
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63. What does Jim tell Huck about his daughter Elizabeth?
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When she was four years old he hit her across the head because she didn’t hear him tell her to shut the door. Turns out she’s deaf.
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64. How would you describe the town where Huck and Jim land?
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It’s very small and uncivilized. A shooting occurred, and yet the shooter wasn’t tried or charged…
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65. What are the townspeople like?
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They’re gullible, and uncivilized, and not the brightest.
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66. What connections does Huck see between the duke and king and real royalty?
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67. What do you think Twain’s opinion is?
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68. What arrangement does the duke make so that Jim won’t have to be tied up all day?
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He dress him up in Kings clothing, and then paint him blue… putting a sign on him saying he’s dangerous and to stay away.
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69. How does the king learn about the Wilks family?
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He talks with an innocent man.
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70. Why is the king worried the gold is $415 short?
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He’s afraid people will think he stole it.
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71. How do they solve the problem?
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They put their own money into it, totaling $6000- planning to earn more from them later.
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72. Why does Dr. Robinson think that the king is a fraud?
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Because he has a bad English accent….
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73. What makes Huck determine to steal the gold back from the king and duke?
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He has a good conscience, and thinks the family deserves what is rightfully theirs.
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74. How do clothes change the king?
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75. What would you say the thematic role of clothes might be in these chapters?
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76. Where does Huck hide the money?
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He hides the money in the coffin.
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77. What causes the disturbance during the funeral?
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There is a dog barking down from the cellar, so the undertaker goes down to take care of it… a whack is heard.. but he says the dog is eating a rat.
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78. Who does Huck blame for stealing the duke and king’s money?
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He blames it on the slaves.
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79. Why does Hines claim the duke and king are frauds?
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Because he saw them in a canoe the day before.
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80. How would you describe the funeral in Chapter 27? How does it help to characterize the town?
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At first it’s normal, solemnn, and quiet, but then many disasters occur. Including the dog barking, and the discovey of the gold. It shows that the town likes gossip (dog barking), and they’re all a little goofy.
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81. Who does the duke think hid the money in the coffin?
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The duke thinks it was the king, and the king thinks it was the duke.
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82. How do the duke and king prosper in the day following their escape?
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They dont… they get drunk on the raft and whenever they reach the shore they have troubles conning people.
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83. Who sells Jim out?
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the king
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84. Who does Mr. Phelps think Huck is?
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He thinks he’s his nephew, Tom Sawyer.
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85. What does Tom think Huck is at first?
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He thinks hes a ghost.
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86. Who does Tom pretend to be?
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At first he pretends to be just a stranger (William Thompson from Ohio), and then after kissing his aunt, he confessing to actually be “Sid Sawyer”.
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87. Explain how Tom figures out where Jim is.
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They speak to a young guy, who with descriptions, tell them that he is being kept in hut near the farmhouse.
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88. How do Huck and Tom overcome the difficulty that they can’t take 37 years to free Jim?
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Instead of actually taking 37 years, they pretend they did… and it’s good enough for them
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89. What do Huck and Tom use for light while they are digging?
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A candle
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90. Who does Aunt Sally blame for her missing shirt?
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Silas
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91. What does Tom want Jim to water his plant with?
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His tears
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92. What effect do the warnings have on the family?
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They are scared, but they start to prepare.
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93. What effect has the last warning letter had on the Phelpses?
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The Phelps have their neighbors come over with guns to guard them.
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94. How does Tom get hurt?
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He is shot in the calf while running away from everyone with Huck and Jim.
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95. Why doesn’t Huck sneak out at night to visit Tom?
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Because Aunt Sally was sitting awake at the front of the house worried about Huck + Tom.
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96. Who clarifies the identities of Huck and Tom?
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Aunt Polly
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97. What has happened to Huck’s father?
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He was the dead man who was shot in the house that was floating down the river, Jim covered up his face so that Huck didn’t find out.
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98. What does Jim’s behavior in these chapters say about his character?
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He is very obedient and will follow directions from a superior, no matter how ridiculous.
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99. What effect does the doctor’s speech in support of Jim have?
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The others don’t hang Jim.
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100. Where is Huck going at the end of the novel? What does this imply about the society in which he lives, and his place in it?
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He is suppose to go with Aunt Sally, but he does not want to be “sivilized”. He plans to go to the territory. His society is very laid back, allowing this child to go make his own decisions. It does imply that he doesn’t have a huge role in the society he lives in because nobody really cares where he’s going or what he’s doing.

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