Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

ISBN 978-1-60857-021-8

Grammardog Teacher's Guide contains 16 quizzes for this classic American novel.  All sentences are from the novel.  Language in this coming of age story features rhyme ("rumbling, grumbling, tumbling down the sky") and onomatopoeia (Lightning is "hwhack!" Thunder is "bum! bum! bumble-umble-umbum-bum-bum-bum!" A horse's gallop is "Plunkety-plunk, plunkety-plunk").  A quiz on humor terms identifies sentences containing hyperbole, colloquialism and malapropism.

PLOT SUMMARY:  You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. The Grammardog Guide to HUCKLEBERRY FINN features sentences from the novel in 16 grammar, style and proofreading quizzes that reinforce plot, characters and themes.  The narrator is Huckleberry Finn, a 12-year-old boy living in a small Missouri town on the Mississippi River in the 1850s.  His mother died and his father Pap Finn is an unemployed abusive alcoholic who shows up unexpectedly from time to time.  Huck lives with the Widow Douglas and her sister Miss Watson.  The two women try to civilize Huck, send him to school, teach him manners, and religion.  Huck sneaks out at night to play with Tom Sawyer and other boys.

One day Pap Finn kidnaps Huck and takes him to a cabin in the woods where Huck is locked inside while Pap goes out drinking.  Pap always comes back drunk and he beats Huck.  Finally, Huck decides he can’t take the beatings anymore.  He cleverly stages the cabin to look like he has been murdered and escapes in a canoe to Jackson’s Island.  There he reunites with Jim, a runaway slave owned by Miss Watson.  Jim’s plan is to travel on the Mississippi to Cairo, Illinois, then up the Ohio River to free states in the north.  Huck and Jim find a raft that has drifted loose.  Huck dresses up like a girl and takes the canoe to a river town to find out the latest news.  He hears from a woman named Judith Loftus about the murder of Huckleberry Finn.  At first Pap is blamed, but later suspicion falls on Jim.  Smoke has been spotted on Jackson Island and men seeking reward money plan to land on the island that night.  

Huck rushes back to Jackson’s Island and he and Jim leave on the raft in a hurry.  After Huck boards a wrecked steamboat one night, he and Jim get separated in the fog.  Huck in the canoe catches up with Jim on the raft.  They miss Cairo in the fog and Jim’s chance to get to a free state.  They drift south into slave states.  Farther down the river, the two are separated again when a steamboat collides with the raft.  Huck goes ashore and is welcomed by the Grangerford family.  Buck Grangerford and Huck become friends.  The Grangerfords have been feuding with the Shepherdsons for 30 years.  When Buck Grangerford’s sister elopes with a Shepherdson, the families try to kill each other.  Huck is horrified as he witnesses the murder of his friend Buck.  He reunites with Jim who has repaired the raft.  They continue their journey down the river.

Jim and Huck take two passengers on board who are being chased by townspeople.  The two men are con artists who introduce themselves as the king and the duke.  They make money by staging a bawdy play called The Royal Nonesuch.  The two swindlers impersonate the brothers of Peter Wilks, a recently deceased wealthy man whose only heirs are his brothers who live in England.  Before the king and the duke can get away with Wilks’s money, Huck hides the money in the dead man’s coffin just before he is buried.  The real Wilks brothers arrive from England and a dispute ensues as to which set of brothers is the real one.  While the townspeople dig up the coffin to see if the dead man has a certain tattoo, Huck runs for the raft.  When he discovers that the king and the duke have sold Jim, he decides to find him no matter what the moral consequences are.  If it’s wrong to take the slave’s side, Huck tells himself, “All right, then, I’ll go to hell!”

Huck finds out that Jim is on an Arkansas plantation owned by the Phelps family, relatives of Tom Sawyer.  Huck pretends to be Tom and when Tom arrives he pretends to be Huck.  Tom comes up with a complicated plan to set Jim free.  When the three finally try to escape, Tom is shot in the leg.  Rather than run away, Jim stays with the wounded Tom.  Tom’s Aunt Polly arrives and identifies the real Tom and the real Huck.  She brings the news that Miss Watson died and set Jim free in her will.  Jim tells Huck that Pap Finn is dead.  He saw his body in one of the wrecked steamboats.  Now it is safe for Huck to return to his former life.  Huck decides that he doesn’t want to be civilized.  Instead he heads west to the Indian Territory.

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