Huck Finn: Essay Questions, first eight chapters

In these first eight chapters of Huckleberry Finn, I see connections with the literature that we read (covering American literature from pre-1492 to the writing of the Constitution in 1787-88).

  • I see a lot of Thomas Jefferson in Tom Sawyer, the way he set up a gang of robbers and tried to govern them.
  • I think Jim, with his superstition and his witchcraft, would have been quite infamous in Salem.
  • I think the Widow Douglass and Jonathan Edwards had a hell of a lot in common
  • I read about Pap and Huck's struggles to be free of his drunkenness, and I can almost see King George III, fighting to keep the American colonies under his thumb.
  • I try to see similarities between these events and me. I connect with the stories and the characters.
How do you connect with Huckleberry Finn? What are some stories from the reading that you identified with? Leave your answer as a comment below.

To receive credit, agree or disagree with one of the connections I mention above in an essay of 100 words. You will be graded on the strength/originality of your thesis and conclusion (5 points) and how well you use details from the book to back up your ideas and demonstrate your reading (10 points). Leave your answers as comments below this post. The last day to receive full credit is Sunday, 29 August.


  1. Widow Douglass and Jonathan Edwards are both religious people. Both of them are very strong in their faith; they both tried to convert people.
    Widow Douglass is a very religious woman. She always prays before she eats, and she always tries to set a good example for Huck. She tells Huck that he should always pray, and ask God for what he wants. She tells him that God will give him what he asks for. As a thirteen year old boy, he doesn't understand that Widow Douglass means "spiritual" gifts, rather than objects. Widow Douglass cares about Huck very much. She doesn't want him around his Pap, because he is always drunk and beating Huck up. She wants Huck to become religious, and find happiness in God.
    Jonathan Edwards, also a religious man, spoke to many people. When we listened to "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", Edwards was speaking about how if you don't get saved, you will perish in Hell for eternity. He was such a good speaker; he scared people and they got saved.
    I strongly agree that Douglass and Edward have a lot in common. They are very similar when it comes to how much they value their religion, and how serious they are about it.

    -Michaela Cundari

  2. Tom Sawyer is a influencing leader, as well as Thomas Jefferson. They both have a power to exert an influence over a group a people - small and large. I connect more with Tom, rather than Huck. I have had an extremely safe and gratifying upbringing. Although I have earned what I have to this day, with out my parents' guidance and support I would be lost. Leadership is a quality that I share with Tom. As an FFA officer, I always say, "Leaders are not made, they are born." With the power to compel my fellow FFA members, comes responsibilities and rules to follow. I am not the one to "break rules" or even sneak out like Huck did. This is just out of my character. In conclusion, Tom Sawyer best fits my personality type.
    -Rachel Miller

  3. Zach Briggs
    I agree with the statement that Jim is like Salem. His actions and his beliefs towards his life and the way it flows make me beleive this. Early on in the book Huck asks for his help with his future. Jim uses a hairball he finds lucky to tell the future he believes if it does not work money will help it. Tom and Huck play a trick on Jim and he thinks that witches have kid napped him and flew him around the world. Jim is very superstitious just like the Salem and he follows his faith to the letter. In chapter 8 Jim runs into Huck who he believes to be dead. Jim asks Huck not to hurt him and to return to the water and rest in peace. So this is how Jim is like Salem.

  4. Marissa Barton:
    While reading “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” I noticed plenty of connections to the American literature we read everyday. Tom Sawyer was a leader to Huck Finn. When Tom and Huck meet up with a few other boys, they discover their new club of robbers called “Tom Sawyer’s Gang.” Tom tells them they must all sign an oath in blood. That way they’d have to kill the family of any member who reveals the gang’s secrets. The boys so easily follow suit because Tom to them, is like Thomas Jefferson. He promises them adventure, blood spill, and ransoms to be had. Thomas Jefferson was the same to America. He was the ‘man of the people’ and flourished with the respect of his followers. But when the Declaration of Independence was born, it also promised natural equality, the inalienable, rights of man, the freedom of the people, the right of revolution. It gave the American Revolution a high purpose. It didn’t matter whether those promises would be made, it was the fact somebody had the courage to make a change. Even after Tom’s adventures was his imagination and Jefferson’s law kept territories at a standstill, it led his supporters to an enlightenment. I also see a connection between the events of my life and Huck Finn’s life. Huck is at the center of countless failures and breakdowns in the society around him, yet he maintains his characteristic buoyancy. Huck strives to make people happy even though he knows Pap abuses him. Pap is, after all, Huck’s father, and Huck is still a practically a young boy. Although, it gives him the strength to break free and become the man he wants to be. Additionally, I have an alcoholic father too. It’s hard to see the people we love make mistakes over and over again. We try to understand them but fail in attempt. No matter how badly they damage us physically or mentally, we still cherish them dearly. And in the end, like Huck Finn, all you can do is struggle to live in a world so hollow it captures you whole.

  5. I feel that Huck's father does relate to King George III in a way. He want to keep Huck away from a modern society; similar to the king trying to keep the colonist together and paying taxes to the crown. I can see why Pap does not want Huck to be able to read either. He seems like a very traditional man, when he is not drunk, and wants to keep the father at the head of the household. If Huck becomes literate, it signifies that he has becojme smarter than Pap. Much like the king also, keep the colonist "under his thumb" and get all off their tax money. Personally, I would want a better life for my son and be happy if he was pursuing education.

    -Adam Sinnard

  6. Sarah Zlibut
    Reading, "Huckleberry Finn," I believe that Huck and my little brother, Matthew, relate the most. In the book, Huck is very mischeivous and adventurous, such as: when he runs away from his father's house and stays on an island a few miles away, wanting to get away from his life he had; or also, when he gets out of the window at night from his bedroom at the widow's house. My little brother, being around the same age as Huck in the book, is also quite an adventuresome boy. Always curious and getting into trouble. From my perspective, I believe my brother Matthew is most like Huck.

  7. I relate most to Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry Finn is a very free spirited individual such as myself. He likes to goof around and pull pranks. I like adventure and can not wait to get out of a place I feel trapped in as much as Huck does. Huck just wants to be seen as an individual who is grown up and can take care of himself much like I do. He needs and wants freedom as much as I do. We have similar needs and wants; cares and loves; passions and hates. Huckleberry Finn and I are very much the same.

  8. Huck wanted to be his own person, but was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He wanted to go out and be on his own and fend for himself, but Tom wanted him to stay with the widow. Huck didn't like to be bossed around; he didn't want to argue either. This relates to me in which, in my life, I make 99% of my own decisions and my parents have let me develop my own way of thinking. Huck thinks creatively and doesn't necessarily care for what the widow tells him about religion or how important it is to be a gentlemen.

    -Chase Howell

  9. As I read, "Huckleberry Finn," I found myself relating to Huck the most. He has a father that has a drinking problem, and lives with people who worry to much about his life instead of there own. For Huck it was about escaping reality and wanting to live in a world of stealing and running from the past. For me it's about making something of myself going to college, getting married, and raising children the way I should have been raised. Huck and myself are two very strong willed people, willing do anything to fit in, be accepted, and run away from the past. Like Huck sometimes I feel locked inside my own house, not being able to have a normal childhood. I can only imagine what it would be like to escape and live on an island, go sailing down an river and being able to stop and meet new people, experience a whole other life of rich's. Though for different reasons, we both have a lot of the same problems- I identify with Huck greatly.

    Christina Acevedo

  10. Huck Finn and I have a lot of similarities and differences. Huck is a very layed back kind of guy who does not like to be "contained". He liked living with Pap where he hung around all day, occasionally fishing. I love fishing for fun. With all these snow days, I have been happily laying around. Huck thought about detail when he staged his own murder. I have never staged my murder, but I am a very detail oriented person. However, I cannot stand to be filthy. I could not stand weiring dirty clothes.

    -Amy Hagood. 2nd block

  11. Alyssa Fullerton

    As I read Huckleberry Finn, I found myself related to Huck in a way out of all the other characters.
    Huck comes off as independent in a way. He doesn’t want to be trapped and bounded by the normality of society and would rather do things his own way and how he sees fit. With Huck, he dislikes the social expectations of the world, such as school, manners, Bible studies, et cetera. He’s rather live his carefree life the way he wants to, instead of being trapped by what society expects of him.
    With me, it’s a little different, but I see where he’s coming from. I have my manners and I take school seriously even if he doesn’t, though, he just wants to do things his own way, which is what I like to do.
    For example, since I’m a girl, I’m expected to have children when I’m an adult since it’s the norm to settle down have a family. I’m not really certain if I want kids, I’d rather live my dreams first and do what I want to do before I think of that kind of stuff.
    Also, since I’m a Christian, I’m expected to go to church every Sunday by other Christians, even though I’d rather not. I don’t think it makes me any less faithful to my beliefs, even if others think so. I follow God the way I want, even if others stick up their nose at my church absence.

    I consider myself independent and I prefer to do things the way I like, and I consider myself pretty carefree, like him. So in a few ways, I consider Huck and I alike.

  12. Emily Hutcherson
    I do see a lot of similarities between Pap and King George III. They both try to rule over something. Both men are very stingy. Pap wants to take away all of his son's money to spend on beer for himself. So every night he can go out and get drunk and complain about the government. King George was also stingy. He wanted all the power. They both were also very poorly educated. King George surrounded himself with people that could read and write. Pap did not even want his son to have a better education than him. He was angry with Huck for being able to read. Pap and King George were both very proud.

  13. I can't exactly relate to Huck, I see a lot of my mom in him. My grandpa was an alcholic and did anything to get his alcohol. My mom, her two brothers, and her mother had to suffer blows from him very often. They never could quite get away. They would lock themselves in their rooms but never snuck out of the house or ran away. I also see similarities between Mrs. Watson and my grandmother. They both wanted the best for the children they were raising and tried their hardest to make them into civilized, intellegent, well mannered people.
    -Valorie Preston

  14. Huck and I have some in common. We both have intellegence to help us guide ourselves in life. We both do what we please with life and especially like times when he met the other blacks and slaves. Being able to strategize is a good similiarity for us two. Although when Huck has to reach out to get what he wants, I sometimes do as well. For example, when i'm in need of money or a favor I go straight to my parents and/or my sister. I have a job so i work for most of my stuff that cost extra. Though, when relating myself to Tom Sawyer, I kinda can't because I dont make the annual income or money to support my family and him being middle class, well I can put my own family in the same class. Now, Jim on the other hand, I can also relate to because he is more of a people pleaser and so am I. He never wants to receive wrath from anyone, neither do I. In the novel Jim seems to try to be loyal and lead the responsible path for Huck to follow in, and I look at it that way when I'm with my friends, when looking at the path we take in decisions.

  15. I can connect with Huck in many ways, especially from when I was younger. Unlike Huck, I didn't exactly paddle down a river on a canoe and hang out on an island, but I often dreamed about running away. I would realize I wouldn't make it far in the world, but the adventures he had were like the ones i'd create in my mind, and they always seemed fascinating to me. Also Huck's way of thinking I can relate to. When he gutted the pig and used it to make a blood trail, that was clever. Even today when I think a situation might happen I will think of some way I can get out of it, like creating my own "escape plans". One other thing not so much anymore, but when I was younger I did not like being clean, I loved being dirty and I never cared for changing clothes. I would say that I Identify with Huck very well, especially myself as a child.

    -Grant Elmer

  16. I agree with pap being like King George. He did anything he could to keep Huck with him and away from the widow. He basically kidnapped him. He locked him up in a cabin all day and made sure there was no way for him to leave. He controlled what he wore and made sure he didn't get educated. He was basically dictating his life. King George dictated the colonists' lives even though he was across an ocean. He sent soldiers over there to keep them in line and he taxed them. I'd say pap and King George are alike, because they both tried to dictate other people's lives.

  17. Macy Troglen:

    Huck reminds me of a friend of mine who I will leave anonymous. In Huck's life, he moves in with Widow Douglas who I feel as though he hardly knows but has to be very respectful to; my friend lived with her grandmother her whole life until about age 12 which is very close to the age of Huck, at 13. My friend's grandmother passed away and was forced to move in with her mother (also hardly knowing anything about), whom I relate Widow Douglas to. In my friend's life, her father is a drunk along with the rest of her family, but I was able to relate her father to Pat from the book. The last connection I could put together of my friend and Huck, was Jim; I know it's far fetched relating a slave to someone's brother, but Jim I felt was very unintelligent and put a lot of belief in things that were a waste of time only to make his OWN time in life more tolerable as a slave. My friend's brother on the other hand, did the same with drugs to make his OWN time in life also more tolerable. He, the same as my friend, moved into the same home, not knowing the same mother.. couldn't seem to handle the emotional stress of it all and his outlet was drugs, as Jim's was superstition.

  18. When I started reading "Huckleberry Finn," I was expecting a fun and adventurous read similar to Mr. Twain's novel "Tom Sawyers." However eight chapters in I see a much darker more grown up version of Twain. I can feel connections to Twain and Huck multiple times already through these early chapters. When I was growing up, sometimes things inside the house would just get too intense as they do in HF and I would branch out and go to my hiding place. My happy zone I would just sit there and watch the sun go down. It was my way of blowing off steam, and just thinking things out. I can also relate to Huck because someone in my family very close to me is a covering alcoholic, and I know and have seen first hand, just how terrible of an addiction it is so I feel sorrow for him. I also like just how spot on Twain got young friendship. When I was growing up the group of friends in my neighborhood were rock solid. Every day it never failed we were getting into something and plotting and scheming some grand plan. We never called our selves a gang but we were more rough and "gangsta" than some of these wanna be "gangstas" now a days. I like how much I am connecting to Huck in this novel already. I am excited to see how things turn out.


  19. Kelsey Boatright

    Huck Finn is only a little boy who lives with a widow whom he knows nothing about. Ive related Huck Finn to the character Klaus Baudelaire, in the series book, "A Series of Unfortunate Events". Klaus and Huck do not have exactly the same lifestyle, but in my opinion they have the same outlook on life. Huck is only trying to be himself and his sense of reasonable judgment and fairness is to help others out (Jim). Klaus is trying to help his family escape from their distant cousin, Count Olaf, who was custody over them after their parents death. Olaf treats the siblings terribly and its not like the Widow Douglas treats Huck bad but, both Hick and Klaus are uncomfortable in the way they live. The Widow makes Huck dress nicely and she shoves religion down his throat when he thinks its unnecessary when the characters in the bible are all dead anyway. He runs away at night to meet up with Tom occasionally and he even fakes his own death and runs away for good. Klaus and his siblings are constantly running from the life they live and their evil Count Olaf. That is why I see the two alike, and even more than I can express in words.

  20. I absolutely agree with Pap's comparison to King George III and Huck's similarity to the Colonies.

    The best example from the book for this comparison is when Judge Thatcher gives Huck a dollar, then Huck goes back to Pap. Pap was angry as usual and wanted to drink, so he asked Huck for all the money he had on him. Huck only had a dollar and Pap took all of it and spent it on alcohol. After a while, Huck realize everytime Pap took money from him, Pap usually got arrested and Huck got to experience some peace for a while. In addition, Huck constantly kept giving Pap money so Pap could go get drunk and arrested. My conclusion is that King George III was always emptying our pockets and taking everything from us just like Pap did to Huck. Therefore, that's one of the main reasons we/Huck decided to "run way" from King George III/Pap.
    Gio 2nd block

  21. I guess I can relate to Huck not wanting to be what people consider civilized. The majority of people, especially in the South, expect one to: believe in a god, act like what they think is a proper woman, etc… To me, that is silly. One shouldn’t be a certain way just because that’s what others think they should be. It makes me mad that we still live in a world where people think women should act in a certain way, because to me that is sexism and living in the 21st century it is disappointing to me that that is where we are still. Like Huck, having to pray to a god that I don’t believe in at dinner makes me uncomfortable. Yet, I know to go along with it because that’s what my whole family expects. He knows not to complain to the widow’s face because it would be disrespectful to her beliefs. And like Huck that is where I’m stuck at.

  22. Blake Holder
    I believe i relate to Huck the most in this book because of many different reasons. One main reason is how he is easily swayed to act like one way or another. In the book, Huck is eventually swayed by Widow Douglas to become a somewhat "good christian child." But once his father comes into the story and he takes Huck away from his normal life Huck begins to like the life style with his dad of going fishing, being able to curse and smoke when he likes. Which was completely different from Widows lifestyle. I am the same. Certain people some can say "authority figures" or even some friends can convince me to do certain things or act a certain way just like Huck. For example, I used to date a girl that if she did not receive attention then she had to have the entire world feel sorry for her. Well i would always be the first to feel sorry when in reality there was nothing to be sorry for. This is a prime example of why i feel I can most relate to Huckleberry Finn.

  23. Elliot Unger
    I can in some ways relate to Huck Fin. Both of us are outdoor people with more common sense then most. Huck, Tom, and his friends started
    a secret club where they used their imagination to go on on adventures; they had a secret club house with rules and members too. Just like my friends and I used to ride our bikes around pretending that we were pirates or robbers going on missions. We also had a club house in the woods that was for members only and a set of rules.
    Also I'm very superstisious like Huck. For example when Huck spilt the salt over, I would of tried to throw some over my shoulder too. I
    didn't know killing a spider was bad luck, but now knowing I won't kill anymore. I didn't lose my horse's shoe though instead it's hanging over by bedroom door. By Huck and I sharing these things in common, it makes the book an easy and enjoyable read.

  24. I do feel like I connect a lot with with Huck Finn, and some of his adventures. In these first few chapters you find out that he's tried to live a normal life, being a normal boy, growing up around other boys; but in reality he's lived with his drunken father, taken in by a widow, then given straight back to his father. He lived in the shack his father hid back in the woods, being kept away from society while his dad walked around getting drunk making an ass of himself in fear his soon would leave, and become better than him. Now I relate to this story in the sense that I know what it's like to have a parent be in fear that their child will succeed more in life then they did, rather then the parent being proud.

    - Connor Bowers

  25. Justin Finch
    Out of all the spider webs of personalities in huckleberry finn, I think i resonate most with the main character huck. While Huck and I differ, such as how he has an abusive drunken father and i do not, I still believe we see the same way. Huck has problems concentrating on certain subjects religion being the biggest, but the way he views it is more like me; he has a sense of ironic laughter to it, as if he would spit in it's face if he didn't agree, that he seemed to think it stupid. I also connect with how his Creativity gets him out of several situations, like how he "staged his death" to run away. But most of all, Huck's journey resonates with me, because it's a symbol of no matter what happens in the world, no matter how distraught it becomes, there is always a sanctuary somewhere.

  26. As a kid, my friends and I formed groups that had standards or what we called them "rules". There wasn't much to do so we used our imaginations. I can relate to Huck's "Gang" because they had rules. Of course our rules were nothing like theirs. They would mention killing, robbing, and all kinds of things. I felt bad for Huck because his papa thinks he is trying to be better than him and he wants him to be illiterate just like the rest of the family. The widow teaches Huck things and lessons and even gets him into school, but his papa refuses to let him go. I can also relate to Huck on how he wants to get out of his house because I feel like that all the time, but I hate that his papa gets drunk and threatens him. Huck said, "when he got money, he got drunk". One night, Huck's papa gets very drunk and thinks their are snakes all over him, but when he gets back up and sees Huck he thinks he is a demon and he chases him with a knife. I can see how scared Huck would be from that so I don't blame him by getting the gun down. The court didn't want to take Huck away from his father, so the widow would send people over to their house to check on him but his papa would run them away with his gun. Huck's dad was a violent man when he was drunk so I understand why Huck ran away.

    Shelley King

  27. My answer is here.
    Jane Doe

  28. I do not read very often. This book is one that I really enjoy and don't mind reading. I can relate to Huck because I was very much the same when I was that age. I believed in some of the same superstitions. One of the superstitions I followed was, "Step on a crack and brake your mother's back". I didn't throw salt over my shoulder though. My mom would kill me if I did that.

  29. In my personal opinion I don't think Huck Fin and I relate in many ways. Other than the fact that I am a girl and he Is a boy, we come from very different homes, and have different life experiences. His father abuses him and doesn't believe in letting him have an education. My mom loves me and encouraged me to do good in school. She believes in me and knows I can achieve anything, she doesn't beat me and abuse me like Huck's dad does. - khadejah mcnichols -

  30. As I was reading Huck Finn, I couldn't help but notice that Widow Douglass and Johnathan Edwards had a lot in common, but they also have some differences.
    Widow Douglass and Johnathan Edwards are both very religious people. They are both very strong in their faith. Both of these people care about others, and want others to get saved and live their life for God.
    Johnathan Edwards is a very confident person; he speaks as though he knows exactly what he is talking about. This is what caused people to listen to him. All great leaders have to have the ability to speak well to their people. Johnathan Edwards hardly raised his voice. He was always pretty calm, but he was extremely intense. Whenever he spoke, people always wanted to know what he was going to say next. He struck the fear of the wrath of God into people's eyes, and they all began to get saved.
    Widow Douglass is a very caring person. She cares about Huck a lot. She tried to teach him religious beliefs. For example: She urges him to pray before he eats, and to ask God for what he needs. Huck doesn't understand what any good it will do, but Widow Douglass still tries to teach him about religion and faith.
    In conclusion, we can see that Widow Douglass and Johnathan Edwards were both religious people, but of course, they still had some differences.

    -Michaela Cundari

  31. I can agree with the fact that Thomas Jefferson and Tom Sawyer are alike. Thomas Jefferson as president expected everyone to do as he said; he thought that everyone looked up to him. He set high standards and rules that he expected everyone to follow.
    With that being said, Tom Sawyer is like Thomas Jefferson in that sense. He had a gang where he thought that everyone should do as he said no matter what. He thought they would want to do whatever he said because he thought everyone in that gang looked up to him. He set rules that he expected everyone in that gang to follow.
    As you can see from what I've said Thomas Jefferson and Tom Sawyer were both leaders, or so they thought, and made rules that were completely bizarre.

    -Jordan Yates


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