Chapter 1 Questions and Answers
1. Give a brief summary of the end of the novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
1. Tom and Huck found the six thousand dollars in gold that the robbers had hidden in the cave. Judge Thatcher invested it for them.
2. Why did Twain choose a young boy as the narrator for the novel?
2. Twain uses Huck’s comments as an innocent and truthful criticism of society.
3. Name one of the major themes of the novel.
3. One major theme of the novel is individual freedom. Huck searches for freedom from the constraints of a corrupt society, and Jim searches for freedom from slavery.
4. Give an example of superstition in Chapter 1.
4. Huck accidentally flips a spider into a candle and is sure it will bring him bad luck.
5. Compare the character of the Widow Douglas to her sister, Miss Watson.
5. The Widow Douglas seems less demanding of Huck than does Miss Watson. She asks her sister to “ease up” on Huck during the spelling lesson.
6. At what period in history does the story take place?
6. The story takes place before the Civil War, when slavery was still legal in the southern United States.
7. Give an example of satire (a device in literature that blends criticism of society with humor) in Chapter 1.
7. One example of satire is Huck’s decision not to go to the “good place” if Miss Watson would be there.
8. What do the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson try to teach Huck in order to civilize him?
8. They teach him proper dress, proper manners, and regular Bible reading.
9. What did the slaves do before they went to bed at night?
9. They came into the house for prayers.
10. Who gave the catcall after midnight?
10. Tom Sawyer was calling for Huck.
Chapters 2 and 3 Questions and Answers
1. Where does Tom take Huck and the gang?
1. Tom takes Huck and the gang to the cave through the hole that he had discovered earlier.
2. What does Jim think has happened when he finds his hat hanging in the tree?
2. Jim thinks that he has been ridden around the world by witches.
3. When Tom’s gang tries to rob the rich “Spaniards” and “A-rabs,” who do they actually rob?
3. The gang tries to rob a Sunday school picnic. To their humiliation, it is a primer class filled with very young children.
4. Where does Tom get his ideas for robbing and killing people?
4. He gets them from the books he reads. One of those books is Don Quixote.
5. If anyone reveals the secrets of the gang, the boy and his family must be killed. Whom does Huck offer as his family to be killed?
5. Huck offers Miss Watson because he would rather give her up than anyone else.
6. Contrast the personalities of Huck and Tom.
6. Huck is literal-minded, realistic, and practical, but Tom is romantic and imaginative.
7. Whose slave is Jim?
7. Jim is Miss Watson’s slave. This is another criticism of Miss Watson as an unfavorable character in the novel.
8. Who are Joe Harper and Ben Rogers?
8. Joe Harper and Ben Rogers are boys in Tom Sawyer’s gang.
9. What purpose does the Mississippi River serve in the novel?
9. The Mississippi River acts as a symbolic setting in the novel, representing an idyllic escape from the corruption of society.
10. How wide is the river in this chapter?
10. The river is a mile wide, which gives it a majestic power.
Chapters 4 and 5 Questions and Answers
1. How does Huck feel about school in these chapters?
1. At first he hated school, but as time went on it became easier and he actually began to like it.
2. How does Huck know his pap is back in town?
2. He sees his footprints in the snow. Pap has a unique cross in his left bootheel to ward off the devil.
3. Why is Huck in a big hurry to give Judge Thatcher his money?
3. He feels that if he gets rid of his six thousand dollars, Pap will leave him alone.
4. What does Judge Thatcher give Huck in exchange for the six thousand dollars?
4. He gives him one dollar. In this way Huck has sold it rather than given it away.
5. Huck consults Jim about his father. What does he want to know?
5. Jim relies on his hairball to work magic. Huck wants to know about his father, but the hairball wavers back and forth giving him opposing answers.
6. How does Pap feel about Huck’s ability to read and write?
6. Pap is jealous of his son. He does not want his son to be better than he is, nor to put on “airs.”
7. Who goes to court to gain custody of Huck?
7. Judge Thatcher and the Widow Douglas want the court to take Huck away from his father. They want to save Huck from his father’s abuse.
8. Who takes Pap into their house in an attempt to reform him?
8. The new judge and his wife give him their spare room, food to eat, and new clothes to wear.
9. Does Pap turn over a new leaf as he says he will? Explain your answer.
9. No. He sneaks out in the middle of the night, exchanges his coat for whiskey, gets drunk, and breaks his arm.
10. What is Twain’s commentary on superstition in Chapter 4?
10. Twain is subtly satirizing superstition in this chapter, particularly in the hairball incident. It is obvious neither the hairball’s spirit nor Jim are sure of anything since one answer is consistently juxtaposed with the opposite answer following it.