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the combination of place, historical time, and social situation that provides the general background from the characters and plot of a literary work
the use of literary techniques to create a character. writers use two main literary techniques to create characters- direct and indirect __________ (direct description, portraying characters’ behavior, and presenting the thoughts and emotions of characters)
narrator and point of view
a _______ is one who tells the story. the ____________ is the vantage point from which a story is told.
the arrangement- the ordering, grouping, and placement- of words within a sentence
a force that moves a character to think, feel, or behave in a certain way
any element that recurs in one or more works of literature or art
the technique of introducing into a narrative material that prepares the reader or audience for future events, actions, or revelations
the central idea of a literary work. it is not simply the subject of a literary work, but rather a statement (the statement can be moral, or even a lesson) that the text seems to be making about that subject
a feeling of expectation, anxiousness, or curiosity created by questions raised in the mind of a reader
a term used to refer to (1) the actual language that a writer uses to convey a visual picture using an appeal to the senses and (2) the use of figures of speech, often to express abstract ideas in a vivid and innovative way.
when an event occurs that violates the expectations or the characters, the reader, or the audience
language that employs one or more figures of speech to supplement and even modify the literal, denotative meanings of words with additional connotations and richness
the humorous writing or speech intended to point out errors, falsehoods, foibles, or failings . it is written for the purpose of reforming human behavior or human intuitions
a character who, by his contrast with the main character (protagonist) or other character, serves to accentuate that character’s distinctive qualities or characteristics
a thing that stands for or represents both itself and something else
a struggle between two forces in a literary work. when it takes place between a character and some outside force it is called and external ______. when it takes place within a character its is called an internal ________.
a story that contains another story or stories
a quality in a work or portions thereof that makes the reader experience pity, sorrow, or tenderness. generally, the character is pathetic, helpless, and/or an innocent victim suffering through now fault of their own
a situation that involves a discrepancy between a character’s perception and what the reader or audience know to be true
a ________ novel recounts the development (psychological and sometimes spiritual) of and individual from child hood to maturity, to the point at which the protagonist recognizes his or her place and role in the world
characterized by a discrepancy between what a speaker or writers says and what he or she believes what to be true. a speaker or writer using _______ _______ will say the opposite of what he or she actually means.
the attitude of the author toward the reader or the subject matter. it may be serious, playful, mocking, angry, commanding, apologetic, and so forth
The protagonist and narrator of the novel. Huck is the thirteen-year-old son of the local drunk of St. Petersburg, Missouri, a town on the Mississippi River. Frequently forced to survive on his own wits and always a bit of an outcast, Huck is thoughtful, intelligent (though formally uneducated), and willing to come to his own conclusions about important matters, even if these conclusions contradict society’s norms. Nevertheless, Huck is still a boy, and is influenced by others, particularly by his imaginative friend, Tom.
Huck’s friend, and the protagonist of Tom Sawyer, the novel to which Huckleberry Finn is ostensibly the sequel. In Huckleberry Finn, Tom serves as a foil to Huck: imaginative, dominating, and given to wild plans taken from the plots of adventure novels, Tom is everything that Huck is not. Tom’s stubborn reliance on the “authorities” of romance novels leads him to acts of incredible stupidity and startling cruelty. His rigid adherence to society’s conventions aligns Tom with the “sivilizing” forces that Huck learns to see through and gradually abandons.
Widow Douglas and Miss Watson
Two wealthy sisters who live together in a large house in St. Petersburg and who adopt Huck. The gaunt and severe Miss Watson is the most prominent representative of the hypocritical religious and ethical values Twain criticizes in the novel. The Widow Douglas is somewhat gentler in her beliefs and has more patience with the mischievous Huck. When Huck acts in a manner contrary to societal expectations, it is the Widow Douglas whom he fears disappointing.
One of Miss Watson’s household slaves. Jim is superstitious and occasionally sentimental, but he is also intelligent, practical, and ultimately more of an adult than anyone else in the novel. Jim’s frequent acts of selflessness, his longing for his family, and his friendship with both Huck and Tom demonstrate to Huck that humanity has nothing to do with race. Because Jim is a black man and a runaway slave, he is at the mercy of almost all the other characters in the novel and is often forced into ridiculous and degrading situations.
Huck’s father, the town drunk and ne’er-do-well. Pap is a wreck when he appears at the beginning of the novel, with disgusting, ghostlike white skin and tattered clothes. The illiterate Pap disapproves of Huck’s education and beats him frequently. Pap represents both the general debasement of white society and the failure of family structures in the novel.
The local judge who shares responsibility for Huck with the Widow Douglas and is in charge of safeguarding the money that Huck and Tom found at the end of Tom Sawyer. When Huck discovers that Pap has returned to town, he wisely signs his fortune over to the Judge, who doesn’t really accept the money, but tries to comfort Huck. Judge Thatcher has a daughter, Becky, who was Tom’s girlfriend in Tom Sawyer and whom Huck calls “Bessie” in this novel.
A family that takes Huck in after a steamboat hits his raft, separating him from Jim. The kindhearted Grangerfords, who offer Huck a place to stay in their tacky country home, are locked in a long-standing feud with another local family, the Shepherdsons. Twain uses the two families to engage in some rollicking humor and to mock a overly romanticizes ideas about family honor. Ultimately, the families’ sensationalized feud gets many of them killed.
Duke and the King
A pair of con men whom Huck and Jim rescue as they are being run out of a river town. The older man, who appears to be about seventy, claims to be the “dauphin,” the son of King Louis XVI and heir to the French throne. The younger man, who is about thirty, claims to be the usurped Duke of Bridgewater. Although Huck quickly realizes the men are frauds, he and Jim remain at their mercy, as Huck is only a child and Jim is a runaway slave. The duke and the dauphin carry out a number of increasingly disturbing swindles as they travel down the river on the raft.
Colonel Sherburne and Boggs
First, there’s Boggs. He’s the town drunk, and though he’s belligerent, everyone in the town believes him to be 100% harmless. As one of the townspeople says, “He don’t mean nothing; he’s always a-carryin’ on like that when he’s drunk. He’s the best naturedest old fool in Arkansaw—never hurt nobody, drunk nor sober” (21.40). Evidently he rumbles into town every once in a while and picks somebody to threaten. On this particular trip he’s chosen Colonel Sherburn—oops.
Sherburn doesn’t entertain Boggs’s drunken lectures, and ends up shooting Boggs dead. The bystanders form a mob and migrate over to Sherburn’s house, in attempt to lynch him. But Sherburn calmly faces them, and delivers the most articulate speech of the novel. Here’s how it starts:
Silas and Sally Phelps
Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle, whom Huck coincidentally encounters in his search for Jim after the con men have sold him. Sally is the sister of Tom’s aunt, Polly. Essentially good people, the Phelpses nevertheless hold Jim in custody and try to return him to his rightful owner. Silas and Sally are the unknowing victims of many of Tom and Huck’s “preparations” as they try to free Jim. The Phelpses are the only intact and functional family in this novel, yet they are too much for Huck, who longs to escape their “sivilizing” influence.
The woman whom Huck visits to gather news while pretending to be a girl. She tells him that she suspects Jim is hiding on Jackson’s Island. Huck barely has time to get back to Jim and get them both off the island.
The Wilkes Family
The Wilks family is the target of one of the duke and the king’s most conniving scams. The two cons learn from a local young man that Peter Wilks, a fairly wealthy local tanner, has just passed away. Peter Wilks’s nieces—Mary Jane, Susan, and Joanna (who Huck refers to as “the hare-lip”)—are about to inherit the family estate, since their mom and dad (who was Peter’s brother) passed away the year before.
Peter had been hoping to see his other two brothers, William and Harvey, before he died, but they hadn’t yet arrived from England. The duke and the king, being the con-men extraordinaires that they are, decide to pose as the two missing brothers in attempt to steal the family’s riches.
Unfortunately for the cons, the Wilks ladies are very likeable, lovely young women, and Huck just can’t stand by and let the duke and king take the girls’ money. Huck grows especially fond of Mary Jane, the oldest of the group. She’s “awful beautiful” (25.5), and “handsome” (25), and basically Huck has a giant crush on her. Her compassion for her family’s slaves has a big impact on Huck’s ethical questioning.