Huck Guide 1
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Study Guide Questions
*Note: Complete these study questions while you’re reading ON YOUR OWN PAPER. These are for
1. Huck calls himself “ignorant,” “lowdown” and “ornery.” Do you agree with this description at this point in the novel? Why
or why not?
2. How is Twain’s use of Realism apparent in the very first paragraph of the novel?
3. What does Widow Douglas do to “sivilize” Huck?
4. Is Huck superstitious? Why or why not?
5. How would you compare the characters of Widow Douglas and Miss Watson? Who seems to be presented in a more
6. After Tom plays a trick on Jim, what does Jim think has happened?
7. Tom derives his rules for their club from…
8. How does Huck know that the drowned body is not Pap?
9. How would you contrast the characters of Tom and Huck?
10. What do Tom and the gang actually do when they raid the “Spanish merchants and A-rabs”?
11. Briefly list three things in these chapters that you found to be humorous.
12. How does Huck know that Pap is in town? What is Huck’s immediate reaction?
13. Huck wanted Jim to tell him his fortune in regard to Pap. Why?
14. How does Pap feel about Huck being educated? How do his feelings differ from most parents’ feelings on this matter?
15. Why do you think Pap is so angry about Huck’s education and the widow’s “sivilizing” of Huck?
16. How does the physical description of Pap in chapter 5 also serve to describe his character?
1. Why do you think Pap tries to kill Huck at the end of chapter 6?
2. Huck goes to sleep at the end of chapter six with a gun in his lap, ready to shoot Pap if necessary. Do you think he’d shoot his
father if necessary?
3. What does Huck tell Pap in the morning when he sees Huck with the gun in his lap?
4. What does Huck do with the canoe he finds? What do you think this foreshadows?
5. How does Huck escape from his father?
6. How does Huck go about faking his death?
7. Why does Huck make it appear he’s been murdered instead of simply running away from Pap?
8. Do you think Huck will be able to survive on his own? Why or why not?
9. Why did Jim run away from Miss Watson?
10. Why do you think it would be a problem for Jim to be shipped to New Orleans?
11. Jim believes he is rich because…
12. What does Jim discover in the house floating down the river?
13. At the beginning of chapter 10, Huck says to Jim, “Now you think it’s bad luck; but what did you say when I fetched that
snake-skin that I found on top of the ridge the day before yesterday? You said it was the worst bad luck in the world to touch
a snake-skin with my hands. Well, here’s your bad luck! We’ve raked in all this truck and eight dollars besides. I wish I could
have some bad luck like this every day, Jim.” After Huck says this, something happens to Jim that changes Huck’s beliefs in
superstitions. What happens, and why does this change Huck’s outlook?
14. When Huck curls up the snake at the foot of Jim’s blanket, he does not tell Jim he has done it. What is his reason for keeping
his little joke a secret? What lesson does Huck learn from it? How would Jim have felt if Huck would have told the truth?
15. What is Huck’s reasoning for dressing up like a girl?
1. Who does Huck originally claim to be? Where is “she” from?
2. What does the lady reveal about Huck’s murder? (who has been charged, what the rewards are, etc.)
3. What does Huck do to the rat? Why is this suspicious to the lady?
4. What does the woman do with the bar of lead? How does Huck react? Why is this suspicious?
5. How does Huck thread a needle?
6. Once Mrs. Loftis reveals to Huck that she knows he’s a boy, what new story does Huck create for himself?
7. Why was the experience with Mrs. Loftis beneficial in the end?
8. As Huck and Jim travel down the river, what do they do for food?
9. What do Huck and Jim discover on the river after they pass St. Louis?
10. What reason does Huck give for wanting to climb aboard? Why is Jim against it?
11. Who is Jim Turner? Jake Packard? Bill?
12. Why are Jake and Bill holding Jim Turner at gunpoint?
Huck Guide 2
13. What do the men decide to do to Jim Turner?
14. What happens to the “murderers”?
15. What do Huck and Jim talk about in ch. 14? 2 things.
16. What is Jim’s opinion of King Solomon? Why does he feel this way?
1. The relationship between Jim and Huck is brought into focus in these chapters. How does their frightening separation in the
fog draw them closer together? How do they feel about each other at this point in the novel?
2. What does Huck do at the end of chapter 15? How is this behavior different from what he did in chapter 10? (snake-skin
3. How is Jim different from Huck? Compare the two characters.
4. Each time Jim mentions how he will soon be a free man, Huck feels worse and worse. Why do you think he feels this way?
5. How does Huck resolve his conflicting feelings about Jim, meaning what does he decide to do?
6. Huck meets two white men searching for runaway slaves. How does he manage to get out of this situation?
7. What happens to Jim and Huck at the end of chapter 16?
8. Explain why the Grangerfords are suspicious of Huck when he first arrives.
9. Who does Huck tell the Grangerfords he is? And, what is his story?
10. Huck forgets the name he falsely gives to the Grangerfords. How is he able to find out what it was in a very sneaky way?
11. How does Buck explain to Huck the family feud between the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons?
12. How does Huck feel about the church service he attends with the Grangerfords? Why?
13. While staying with the Grangerfords, how does Huck rediscover Jim? What has Jim been doing all this time?
14. What happens to Buck, his two brothers, and his father? How does Huck feel about this, especially Buck?
15. At the end of chapter 17, Huck says, “We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up
and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” How could this be considered
ironic? And, why do you think Huck associates the raft with freedom?
16. Why are the “duke” and the “king” on the run? Did they know each other before?
17. Why do you think Huck helps the duke and the king?
18. After the duke and the king reveal their “true” identities, how do Huck and Jim treat them?
19…How do we know there’s already some rivalry forming between the king and the duke?
20…At the end of chapter 19, Huck reveals that he has known the duke and king are frauds from the
beginning. Why do you think he decides to “let them have their own way”? And what does this reveal
about Huck’s character?
21…How does the king dupe the people at the camp meeting?
22…How does the duke arrange for the raft to float by day?
23…How do we know Jim is beginning to figure out the duke and the king?
24. Huck says about folks in Arkansas: “…they called one another Bill, and Buck, and Hank, and Joe, and Andy, and talked
lazy and drawly, and used considerable many cuss words.” Here, what is the difference that Huck is being exposed to?
25. Why does Colonel Sherburne shoot and kill Boggs?
26. At the end of chapter 21, (2nd to last paragraph), what is the lanky man with the long hair and a big white stove-hat doing?
27. How do the townspeople feel about the shooting? What do they do?
28. What is Sherburn’s attitude toward the men who are attempting to lynch him? Why do you think he has this attitude?
1. What is the “Royal Nonesuch”? What do the townspeople think of this show?
2. Instead of spreading the word around town that the show is terrible, the townspeople decide to…Why?
3. By the end of the third show, what have the townspeople planned to do? How are the duke and the king able to profit from
this particular show especially?
4. What connection does Huck see between the duke and the king and real royalty?
5. Huck notices that Jim is upset and says, “I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks do their own. It
don’t seem natural, but I reckon it’s so.” To what can we attribute Huck’s judgment here?
6. What does Jim tell Huck about his daughter, Elizabeth? Why?
7. What arrangement does the duke make so that Jim doesn’t have to be tied up all day?
8. What does the king learn from the young man about the Wilks’ family?
9. Why is the king worried that the gold they find in the Wilks’ cellar is $415 short? How do they solve this problem?
10. Why do you think the duke and the king give the girls $3000?
11. The king mispronounces several words. Give one example.
12. How does the doctor figure out the king is a fraud?
13. Joanna (the hare-lip) trips Huck up at least three times about his “life back in England.” Briefly explain each of these three
14. Mary Jane and Susan overwhelm Huck’s conscience when they…
15. What does Huck decide to do with the stolen money?
Huck Guide 3
1. Where does Huck hide the money? Who comes in right after he hides it?
2. Huck THINKS the money will be discovered when…but, in reality, the money…
3. Who does Huck blame for stealing the missing money?
4. What qualities of the Wilks’ girls allow them to be duped or tricked so easily?
5. What does Huck reveal to Mary Jane in chapter 28?
6. What instructions does Huck give to Mary Jane? Why?
7. How do you think Huck felt about Mary Jane?
8. How does Huck trick Susan and Joanna into staying quiet about Mary Jane being at a “sick friend’s house”?
9. What happens during the family’s auction of their possessions? How do the duke and king react?
10. What leads the duke and the king to be nearly exposed (regarding handwriting)?
11. What do the duke and king declare as far as Peter’s tattoo? What does the undertaker declare? What do the real William and
12. What is discovered with the body in the casket is exhumed? What about the tattoo?
13. Where do Huck, Jim, the duke, and the king go after the duke and the king are exposed?
14. When did the duke and the king escape? How do you think they managed to do this?
15. Why do they fight at the end of chapter 30?
16. Describe at least three other scams the duke and the king try to pull.
17. What does Huck claim the runaway slave (who’s really Jim) did to him?
18. What does Huck realize about Jim being captured?
19. For what two reasons does Jim decide against writing Miss Watson? (1 regarding Jim, 1 regarding him)
20. Why does Huck try to pray in chapter 31? What happens when he tries to do so?
21. Why does Huck feel guilty after writing the actual letter to Miss Watson?
22. Why does Huck say he’s “going to Hell”?
23. What lie does the duke tell Huck? How does Huck know he’s lying?
24. Why is Mrs. Phelps so excited to see Huck?
25. What “trick” does Aunt Sallie play on Uncle Silas?
26. In chapter 32, Huck discovers he’s supposed to be _________________________.
27. What does Huck decide to do to prevent trouble when and if Tom Sawyer arrives?
28. Why is Tom terrified of Huck at first?
29. What does Tom instruct Huck to do once Huck tells him what’s going on?
30. What are Tom’s feeling on Huck helping a runaway slave?
31. When Tom first arrives at Aunt Sallie’s house, what is his “story”?
32. What does Tom do to anger his aunt? Why does he do this?
33. How does Huck find out the Royal Nonesuch is being produced in town?
34. What happens to the duke and the king?
35. How do Huck and Tom figure out where Jim’s being held?
36. What is Huck’s plan for freeing Jim?
37. Why does Tom criticize Huck’s plan?
38. What seems to be driving Jim’s keeper crazy?
39. How does Tom convince Jim’s keeper that he and Huck do not know Jim?
40. How do Tom and Huck plan on “busting out” Jim?
41. What are some of Tom’s wild ideas for getting Jim out?
42. Where does Tom get these ideas?
43. Why does Huck think of Tom’s wild ideas?
Ch. 36—39 Due 3/15
1. Why does Tom finally decide they can begin digging with the picks instead of the case knives?
2. Why do Tom and Huck plan on hiding things in Tom’s aunt and uncle’s pockets?
3. What is Jim to do with the candlesticks, spoons, and tin plates?
4. Why is Aunt Sallie mad at Uncle Silas at the beginning of chapter 37?
5. What else is missing?
6. Why is it funny when Uncle Silas pulls the spoon out of his pocket and the shingle nail falls out of his hat?
7. What’s the problem with the fact that the wall is wooden where Jim is being held captive?
8. What does Huck mean when he says, “He [Tom] could out-superintend any boy I ever see. He knowed how to do
9. What is Tom’s idea concerning a spider and a rattlesnake? Where does he get this stuff?
10. What is Jim’s response to this idea?
11. How does Tom tell Jim to water the flower he’s supposed to “raise”?
12. Why does Aunt Sallie become so antsy that “you could touch her on the back of her neck with a feather and she would jump
right out of her stockings”?
13. Why does Jim begin having trouble sleeping in chapter 39?
Huck Guide 4
14. What do Tom and Huck do with the sawdust they create?
15. Why does Huck worry when Uncle Silas decides to advertise Jim in the “Orleans” and St. Louis papers?
16. What’s the point of the “nonamous” letters written by Tom?
17. In the last nonamous letter, what reason does the “writer” cite for giving this information?
1. Why do a “crowd” of fifteen farmers gather at Aunt Sallie’s house?
2. Why does Aunt Sallie think Huck “got the brain fever”?
3. How are Tom and Huck able to rescue Jim and then escape?
4. Why don’t the dogs lead the men to the boys?
5. Why is Tom glad he has a bullet wound?
6. Why does Huck say about Jim: “I knowed he was white inside, and I reckoned he’d say what he did say”?
7. Tom tells Huck what to do about getting a doctor for him. What is the plan?
8. What does Huck end up telling the doctor in order to get medical attention for Tom?
9. When Huck runs into Uncle Silas, he tells Uncle Silas that he and Sid (Tom) went…
10. What do all the farmers and their wives make of Jim’s cabin when they see everything he did?
11. Why do they believe that Jim’s cabin must have been full of other slaves helping him?
12. Why does Huck feel “mean” when Aunt Sallie tucks him into bed?
13. When Tom (the real Tom) first arrives back at the Phelps’, how do many of the townspeople feel about Jim? Who changes
their minds? How?
14. Why do you think Tom decides to tell Aunt Sallie about their whole scam?
15. What does Tom reveal about Miss Watson and Jim?
16. In chapter 42, Tom reveals why he set up the whole thing with busting Jim out. Why did he do all of this?
17. Who reveals to Aunt Sallie Huck’s true identity?
18. How does Tom keep Aunt Sallie from receiving Aunt Polly’s letters?
19. In Chapter the Last, we find out what Tom’s plan would have been if he hadn’t of gotten shot. What was his plan?
20. What difficult news does Jim break to Huck in this last chapter? What good will come out of this?
21. What does Huck tell us at the end of the novel?