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Character Analysis: Huckleberry Finn in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

Updated on April 23, 2017

Huckleberry Finn Analysis

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a famous novel by Mark Twain. Huckleberry Finn, a thirteen year old boy, is the protagonist and the narrator of this novel. His shrewd and humorous narrative of the novel captures the attention of the readers. Mark Twain describes Huck as idle, lawless, vulgar and bad. Huck's character was based on Tom Blankenship, a boy who lived near the Mississippi river.

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Huckleberry Finn Summary

Huck is an intelligent and easy going boy with a spirit of adventure. He comes from a poor background. Huck's mother has passed away and his father "Pap" Finn is an uncivilized drunkard. Huck abhors liquor. He remembers his mother while conversing with his best friend Tom Sawyer. As a boy, Huck lives the life of a vagabond, sleeping on doorsteps and living off what he receives from his sympathizers. Mark Twain writes, "He was fluttering with rags", while describing his attire.

Mark Twain

Huckleberry Finn author
Huckleberry Finn author | Source

Widow Douglas adapts Huck and sends him to school in an attempt to reform him, but her efforts go in vain. Huck's father takes him away from the widow. Huck spends most of the time alone, stealing watermelons and chickens. He is skeptical about the society and its ways. His experiences during the journey in a raft down the river Mississippi teaches him many lessons.



Huck protects Jim, a slave of Miss Watson, even though he knows that according to law Jim is Miss Watson's property. He protects Jim because he thinks it is "right" to do so. Readers get a glimpse of his compassionate nature in this episode.

Huck is superstitious. He ties a lock of his hair with a thread to keep the witches away. He believes that Jim's hairball (which was taken out of an ox's stomach) has magical powers.

Even though Huck is uneducated, he is shrewd. He smartly figures out the captain's opinion about Hornback and uses it to his advantage. Unlike his creative and mischievous friend Tom Sawyer, Huck is logical and straightforward in his approach. When their group meets to discuss regarding ways to free Jim, Huck proposes to steal the keys from Uncle Silas, unlock Jim and to escape using a raft. Tom rejects the plan saying that it is too simple. Readers get a glimpse of Huck's intelligence in the episode where he escapes from his father by faking his own death.

Huckleberry Finn Movie

Huckleberry Finn is an endearing character who will be etched in the memory of the readers for a long time.

Mark Twain


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Well, before long here comes the wreck, dim and dusky, sliding along down! A kind of cold shiver went through me, and then I struck out for her. She was very deep, and I see in a minute there warn't much chance for anybody being alive in her. I pulled all around her and hollered a little, but there wasn't any answer; all dead still. I felt a little bit heavy-hearted about the gang, but not much, for I reckoned if they could stand it I could.

— Huckleberry Finn


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