Mark Twain – Huckleberry Finn, Chapters 5-8

Chapter 5 – Huck’s Father — The Fond Parent — Reform

  • Huck went into his room & there was his father. He used to be scared of him all the time because he beat him so much. But in a moment that fear would die down a bit.
    • He was about 50, with long, tangled & greasy hair that hid his eyes. His face was extremely pale & it made him look very sick. His clothes were rags.
    • They looked at each other for a while until his father, Pap, made a remark about Huck’s fancy clothes. He would take Huck down a peg or 2. He mentioned that since Huck could now read, he probably thought he was better than his father. He said the widow did know how to mind her own business. He asked to hear him read & Huck obeyed. Pap told him he didn’t want to catch him near school or learning about religion.
    • Then he noted that Huck was a dandy with his bed, pyjamas, mirror & rug, while his father was sleeping with hogs. Next, he brought up the subject of Huck’s money. Huck tried to lie about it but it was all Pap heard about since he got back into town. He was going to get Judge Thatcher to give him the money. Then he wanted whatever money he had on him, which was just $1.
    • Pap told him he’d use it to buy whiskey. Then he jumped through the window & cursed at him for putting on airs & told him he’d beat him if he went to school.
      • The next day, he got drunk & went to Judge Thatcher’s to get the money, to no avail. He threatened legal action. The judge & widow went to the court to get one of them to be his legal guardian. But it was a new judge there who didn’t want the court to interfere or separate a family.
      • Pap threatened Huck if he didn’t get some money for him. He got $3 from Judge Thatcher. Pap blew it on whiskey & got so drunk he ended up in jail for a week.
      • The new judge was determined to make a man of him & brought him into his own house. They talked about temperance until Pap cried & promised to turn a new leaf. All he wanted was some sympathy. He signed a pledge & they put him in the spare room to sleep. That night he sneaked out & got so drunk that he came back & fell asleep on the porch, broke his arm & nearly froze to death.
        • The judge was angry & said the man could only be reformed by force.

Chapter 6 – He Went for Judge Thatcher — Huck Decided to Leave — Political Economy — Thrashing Around

  • Pap went after Judge Thatcher again to get Huck’s money & to stop Huck from going to school. He caught Huck a few times & beat him up but Huck continued to go. He was able to escape Pap most of the time. He was going to class just to spite Pap at this point.
    • The lawsuit was taking a while to start so Huck borrowed more money from Judge Thatcher to keep from being beaten. Pap used the money & each time he’d drink, he got in trouble & went to jail. Pap started hanging around the widow’s house & she threatened him if he didn’t leave. He waited for Huck one day, caught him & took him up the river 3 miles & over to the Illinois side in a log cabin in the woods.
    • Pap kept him with him at all times so he wouldn’t run off, or he’d lock Huck in the cabin. They lived on what they could fish or hunt. While Huck was locked up, Pap went to trade fish for whiskey. Then he’d go home, drink & beat Huck.
      • The widow found out where they were & came to get Huck but Pap chased her off with a gun.
    • Huck felt comfortable in their rough life, except for the beatings. Within 2 months, his clothes were rags. He didn’t have to bathe or watch his manners. But Pap beat Huck regularly & left him locked up for days at a time, sometimes making him think that Pap was dead. He started to plan a way to escape but the windows & chimney were too small, & the door was too thick. Eventually, he found a saw without a handle that he greased up. He began to saw through the floorboards.
    • When he was almost finished, Pap came back. Huck hid the saw & the hole with a blanket. Pap said he’d been to town with his lawyer & things weren’t going well with his case. The trial was being continually delayed by Thatcher.
      • Huck didn’t want to go back to the widow’s house because he liked the uncivilized life. Pap was going to take Huck to a place where they’d never find him. So, he went off to fill the boat full of supplies & had Huck unload it. This got Huck thinking about running off with some of it, moving at night, & hunting & fishing to stay alive. He wanted to get far enough away so Pap would never find him. He’d finish sawing if Pap got drunk enough that night.
      • Pap did get drunk, went out into the woods & started screaming about how the government was screwing him out of his money. Then he complained that while he was in Ohio for a while that Blacks & Mulattoes were gaining rights & more respectability than he had.
      • Pap was so drunk & upset that he didn’t notice where he was walking & fell into a tub of salted pork, scraping up both shins. He hopped around on one foot & then the other, until he kicked the tub & fell over in the dirt.
      • After dinner, Pap started drinking again. Pap wasn’t falling asleep fast enough for Huck, who was falling asleep him self. Several times throughout the night Pap woke up screaming & yelling about being persecuted & threatened Huck. Eventually, Pap fell asleep. Huck got the gun & propped it over a barrel aimed at Pap.

Chapter 7 – Laying for Him — Locked in the Cabin —Sinking the Body — Resting

  • Pap woke up Huck asking why he had the gun out. Huck explained that someone was trying to break in & he couldn’t wake him up. Pap seemed to buy it & told Huck to see if the fish were biting that morning.
    • Huck went down to the river & noticed it was rising because of all the wood floating in it. Huck found a canoe loose on the banks. He knew Pap could get $10 for it but he pulled it down a small creek & covered it to use later when he would run away. He could take it 50 miles down the river in a day instead of just walking off a few miles in one day. Although it was close to the cabin, he hid it out of view. When he got back, Pap hadn’t suspected a thing.
    • Pap gave him grief for being slow. Huck told him he fell in the water which was why he was also wet. There were 5 catfish on the line & they went back for breakfast. While they were taking a nap, Huck began to think of getting away from both the widow & Pap.
      • Pap told him that when the next man came by, Huck had to wake him up because he wouldn’t be there for a good reason, & Pap would shoot him. That gave Huck an idea so that nobody would follow him when he left.
    • After noon, they started pulling logs from the river, including part of a raft. 9 logs & half a raft were enough to put on Pap’s boat for him to go sell in town. He locked Huck up but Huck figured that Pap wouldn’t be back until that night. He would wait until Pap was out of view to leave.
      • Huck took a sack of corn flour, side of bacon, jug of whiskey, coffee, sugar, ammunition, wadding, buck, gourd, dipper, tin cup, saw, blankets, skillet, coffee pot, fishing line & matches. He cleaned the place out & took the gun.
      • He took the gun to hunt birds but ran into a wild hog. He shot it & brought it back to the cabin. He took the axe, hacked at the door & brought in the pig to bleed out & then dragged it to the river. He cut out pieces of his hair & jacket & then sent the hog down the river. This was all made to look like he’d been killed.
      • Huck waited in the willow until it was dark, thinking of how they’d drag the river & look for his dead body. They wouldn’t find him & then give up looking.
    • His next move was to go to Jackson Island where he used to hang out with Tom Sawyer. He was waiting in the willows & fell asleep. When he woke up, it was dark out but everything was lit up by the moon. He rowed down the river & passed by a man who, after further inspection, Pap! Huck laid back in the canoe, hiding himself, passed Pap & the people hanging around the ferry landing.
      • Finally, he made it to Jackson Island & dragged the canoe ashore. Once on land, he heard men speaking aboard a raft shining bright lights on the land. He went to sleep until morning.

Chapter 8 – Sleeping in the Woods — Raising the Dead — Exploring the Island — Finding Jim — Jim’s Escape — Signs — Balum

  • Huck woke up looked at his surroundings, felt too lazy to make breakfast & went back to sleep. Later, he was woken up by a loud boom coming from a ferryboat. It was a cannon shooting the water trying to make dead bodies rise to the surface. They also sent loaves of bread containing mercury out in hope they’d collect near a dead body. People were looking for his remains, so he moved out of view. He grabbed a load for breakfast.
    • He lit a pipe & watched the ferry until it got close enough to him that he could see & hear the passengers: Pap, Judge Thatcher, Bessie Thatcher, Tom Sawyer, Aunt Polly, Sid & Mary, as well as others. They were talking about the murder while Huck watched them hidden in the leaves. The cannon shot again & then turned around to go up the other side of the river.
  • Huck was safe & set up a tent. He fished & made himself breakfast. He started to feel lonesome & sat by the shore to listen to the water.
    • He carried on like this for a few days. There was fresh wild fruit for him to eat. Then he saw a campfire still smoking. He stood back to see whose it was but no one came. He went to his own campsite & dusted it up to make it look like no one had been there for a year. He climbed up a tree to wait. After 2 hours, he started to get hungry.
    • He went to another side of the island but heard the sound of horses & men who decided to stop because their party was tired. Huck when to his canoe to sleep in it. He paddled around the island till he saw a fire with a man lying beside it. It was Jim.
  • Huck went to speak to Jim when Jim jumped up, then quickly dropped to his knees begging him not be harmed by Huck’s ghost. Huck explained that he wasn’t really dead, he only faked his death. He was glad to have Jim as company & didn’t want people to know where they were. Jim had been living off strawberries. He saw that Huck had a gun & suggested they get something more substantial than strawberries.
    • While Jim built the fire, Huck got cornmeal & bacon from his canoe along with his gear. Jim was taken aback because it looked like witchcraft to get so much from a canoe. Huck caught a fish, & Jim cleaned & cooked it. They sat on the grass enjoying the meal.
    • Jim asked him who was killed in the cabin. Huck told him the whole story. Then Huck asked why Jim was there. Jim was reluctant to say because he didn’t want Huck to tell on him. He had run away.
    • Huck promised not to say anything but said people would hate him for keeping it quiet. But since he wasn’t going back, it didn’t matter anyway.
      • Jim said Miss Watson picked & was planning to sell him down to New Orleans. One night he overheard Miss Watson tell this to the widow. She didn’t want to but she heard she could get $800 for him. The widow tried to talk her out of it. Jim didn’t hear the rest, he took off.
      • He wondered if he should run away on foot or by boat. He went to town & hid behind the cooper’s shop & waited for people to clear the streets so he could take a boat. But Pap had come to town to tell everyone Huck was killed.
      • Jim felt he wouldn’t be missed in all the confusion. After dark, he went up the road a couple of miles where he found a raft (rafts don’t make tracks). While on the raft he saw people with lanterns & swam to the island, which was how he got there.
      • Jim spoke to Huck about bad signs. Birds flying meant it was going to rain but to catch one mean death. Things that were bad luck: counting what you were cooking, shaking a tablecloth after sunset & not telling bees that their owner had died. But apparently, having hairy arms & a hairy chest meant you were going to be rich.
      • Since Jim had hairy arms & a hairy chest, he’ll be rich again one day. He was rich once through raising livestock but lost most of the money. He lost money in an attempt at a bank. He bought a wood-flat on speculation & the money in the bank disappeared. He was left with 10¢. He gave it to a slave named Balum because the preacher said whoever gave money to the poor would get it back 100-fold. But Jim never saw a penny of that money come back to him. He figured he had $800 tied up in himself.

Author: knowit68

Leave a Reply