The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chapters 4-7

How does Huck know that his father has returned?
Huck knows that his father has returned because he sees his father’s footprint in the snow. He knows it is his father’s because it has a cross in the left boot heel made with big nails to keep away the devil.

What does Huck do with his money? Why?
Huck “sells” his $6,000.00 to Judge Thatcher for $1 so Pap cannot take it from him. The Judge knows that legally Huck cannot simply give it to him, so he writes a contract and buys it from him. (Of course he does not plan to keep it forever; he plans to simply save it from Pap)

Why do the Widow Douglas and Judge Thatcher fail in their petition to become Huck’s guardians?
The Widow Douglas and Judge Thatcher fail to become Huck’s guardians because there is a new judge in town who does not know Pap and he feels a parent should not be separated from his child. He also plans to “help” Pap.

Where does Huck’s father take him? Why?
Pap takes Huck to a cabin in the woods and keeps him locked up. He did this because the Widow told him to stay away from her house and he is angry he cannot get Huck’s money.

How does Huck escape from his father?
Huck’s escape plan is: He saws a hole through the wall so he can crawl out, he takes all the food and other supplies from the cabin and dragged them to a hidden canoe, he takes the axe and smashes in the door of the cabin, he kills a wild pig and puts its blood everywhere, and then drags a sack of rocks so it looks like his body was dragged away. He did all of this so Pap would think someone had broken into the cabin, robbed them, and killed Huck. He wants to make sure that Pap and the Widow do not look for him.

How does Twain satirize “do-gooders” in his description of Pap’s reform?
Twain satirizes “do-gooders” because the new judge and his wife think they are going to reform Pap. They think everyone wants a new chance and if they give Pap new clothes, good food, and a place to sleep that he will become an upstanding citizen who will stop drinking and take care of his son. This is a ridiculous idea because Pap is a drunk and does not WANT to change his ways. He sneaks out of their house and trades his new coat for whiskey. Twain is making fun of the idea that everyone is “good.”

How does Huck like life with his father? Why does he decide to run away?
At first Huck likes life with his father; he can cuss and does not have to go to school, pray, or be ‘civilized. Then Pap starts drinking more and begins to beat Huck and go crazy and Huck is afraid. He also does not like being locked in the cabin for days at a time.

How does the physical description of Huck’s father in Chapter 5 also serve to describe his character?
Huck’s father is described as: he is filthy with clothes that are basically rags now, his hair is long and greasy and hanging over his face, his beard is wild (both his hair and beard are black), his one shoe is torn so that two of his toes are sticking out, and his face is totally white. (Not a normal white but a scary white that made Huck feel sick) This description shows how low Pap has fallen and how much he does not care about anything. It also shows he has no respect for himself and respects only the whiskey.

What does Huck’s father criticize about the ‘govment’? What does Twain want the reader to feel about these issues?
He criticizes the government because he feels it is unfair that the court would not just give him his son and his son’s money. He says that there he sits worth $6,000.00 (Huck’s money) and he is dressed in rags. He also complains about a free Black man who has better clothes and more money than Pap does. He says that he should just leave the country and never come back. Twain wants you to see how ridiculous Pap’s reasoning is. He also wants the reader to see the contrast between Pap, who is white, ignorant, dirty, racist, pure evil and the free black Professor in the town, who is intelligent, clean, knowledgeable about laws, and an upstanding citizen. If the black man lives in Missouri, a slave state, for 6 months, he can be sold as a slave, even though he is free in his home state. Twain wants the reader to see the contrast here and realize that being white did not make one superior to someone who was black.

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