The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Study Guide


Chapter XIII


bitts – posts fixed to the deck of a ship for securing lines

careened – leaned

plunder – stolen goods

scow – large flat-bottomed boat

yarn – tale

1. How can we tell that, unlike the men, Huck values human life very highly? What else

does the conversation Huck has with the steamboat captain reveal about his character?


Chapter XIV


gaudy – flashy

hawking – hunting with hawks

1. What does Huck read about in the books he gets from the steamboat?


2. What is your opinion of the conversation about:

a) King Solomon


b) French language



3. What can you infer has changed about the relationship between the two runaways?


Chapter XV


snag – part that sticks out

tow-head – sandbar

1. Why are they trying to get to Cairo, Illinois?



2. How do Jim and Huck get separated?



3. Most readers, at first, think that Huck’s trick on Jim is funny. Why do they change

their minds?



4. Since Huck feels bad about it, why does it take him fifteen minutes to apologize

to Jim?



5. What does this scene say to the reader about Huck and Jim’s relative humanity and



Chapter XVI


green – new; not yet experienced

spunk – courage

1. When they think they are approaching Cairo, Jim becomes excited and happy; but

Huck becomes upset. Why?



2. What about Jim’s future plans further upsets Huck?



3. How would you describe the conflict Huck is feeling at this point? Find a quotation in

this chapter that depicts Huck’s conflicting feelings.



4. What does the confrontation between the slave hunters and Huck point out?



5. At the end of this chapter how are Jim and Huck again separated?


Chapter XVII


crockery – pottery

disposition – personality; temperament

outlandish – bizarre

pensive – deep in thought

pined – longed

1. Why are the Grangerfords so wary of strangers?



2. Although Huck does not see it as comic, what does the reader find humorous about

the titles of the dead girl’s pictures?



3. Why does one picture have eight arms, and what is Huck’s comment on this picture?



4. Critics claim that Twain is making fun of a type of poetry in the poem "Ode to Stephen

Dowling Bots, Dec’d." What type would that be?



5. What do neighbors say about Emmeline?


Chapter XVIII


aristocracy – ruling class

bowie – hunting knife

capered – frolicked

cavorting – frolicking

decanters – glass containers for storing liquor

junketings – get-togethers; feasts

pommel – front of a saddle

puncheon – smoothed log


1. Buck describes to Huck what a feud is. How would you describe the tone

of that paragraph?



2. What disparaging remark about the Shepherdsons does Huck make that Buck takes

exception to?



3. If, as critics claim, the author’s aim is to attack the tradition of feuding and that false

code of honor, why does Twain not make one of the families cowardly?



4. What is the allusion that is contained in the elopement of Sophia and Harney?



5. As with the conversation overheard on the boat, Huck is again traumatized and scarred

by violence. What scene does this to him in this chapter?



6. How does the reader know that this scene has made a profound impression

on Huck?



7 Why might Huck claim, "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"?