Twelve Locations in Huck Finn


St. Petersburg


As the story opens, Huck Finn has been adopted by the Widow Douglas who wants to make him conform to the way and views of society. It is with this forced learning that Huck finds that he is not comfortable with the situation. Huck Finn, a boy of approximately 12 years, is the son of the town drunk. Widow Douglas adopts him so that she can civilize him and raise him to be a gentleman. Huck does not like the dull ways of the Widow. Though she is nurturing to him, he feels confined and uncomfortable in her house. He does not like going to school, attending church, or wearing neat clothes and he despises being tortured by Miss Watson. When is becomes fed up with the ways of the Widow, he decides to run away, but is found by Tom Sawyer, who convinces him to come back. Earlier, Huck and Tom found a treasure and were allowed to keep it. Huck\'s father comes to know of his son\'s prosperity and returns to St. Petersburg. Widow Douglas\' has little success with her attempts to reform Huck; he is just not the type of person who can tolerate civilized life. He longs for a life of freedom, without worry or constraint from society’s rules. It is also the earnest wish of most adolescents to be left to their own devices, untroubled by the adult world of rules and etiquette. Later instances, with Huck and Jim afloat on the Mississippi, are indicative of the freedom that Huck is prevented from attaining this early in the story. Huck\'s concept of religion is also eccentric. The Widow Douglas and Miss Watson attempt to teach him the difference between good and bad, but he has trouble accepting what he hears. He is told that smoking is bad by the Widow Douglas, and yet she uses snuff. Huck sees the hypocrisy in this and decides that he prefers to be “bad.” This discussion is significant to later events in the novel when Huck will have to deal with much larger issues of good and bad as they relate to the slave Jim.


At this point Jim is introduced as Mrs. Watson’s slave. Jim hears a noise, made during Huck and Tom’s escape attempt, and decides to check to make sure everything is ok. He does not see anything, but he is not satisfied and sits to wait; he soon falls asleep. Tom decides to tie him up as a joke. Ignoring Huck’s protest, Tom simply takes his hat and hangs it overhead from a tree branch. Jim awakes and he is certain that he has been carried away and back by witches. He spreads the story throughout the slave community, enhancing the tale each time it is told. Each time he tells it, a sense of pride comes over him. Several key facts are shown in this brief description of Jim. He is the slave of Miss Watson, who has already been pictured as nagging and mean in the way she treated Huck. Though she had been harsh on Huck, it could only be assumed that she was much more severe with Jim. As Huck was superstitious, Jim was also. Since he could come to no logical conclusion for his hat being in the tree, he blames it on witches and proudly spins the tale for his friends.


It is important to notice two things surrounding the body found floating in the river. It introduces the Mississippi as a powerful and awesome force, which Huck and Jim will fully feel as they escape down the river. Additionally, Huck takes a very pragmatic approach to the news that the body may be his Pap. His father represents only instability and cruelty to Huck; he is not bothered by the fact that perhaps it is his father who has drowned. Also Huck does not really think his dad is dead, but feels certain that he will appear again, which foreshadows Pap\'s later appearance in the novel. Pap hears that Huck has gained riches and comes to St. Petersburg to confirm the rumors. Huck denies any involvement, but Pap is not fooled and goes to Judge Thatcher\'s to get the money. With Judge Thatcher’s help, Widow