The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Summary and Analysis Chapter 14

Summary

The next day, Jim and Huck go through the spoils they got from the gang on the Walter Scott. Huck's excitement about their new treasure is tempered by Jim's fear that they might have been caught or drowned. After listening to Jim, Huck realizes that, as usual, Jim is right.

Among the blankets, clothes, and cigars, Huck finds a few books and reads to Jim about romantic figures like kings, dukes, and earls. When the discussion turns to royalty and King Solomon, Huck and Jim debate Solomon's logic and refuse to agree on his wisdom.

Analysis

Chapter 14 continues to define Huck and Jim's roles, with Jim constantly proving himself as the more practical and mature person despite Huck's ability to read. Initially, Huck accepts Jim's rationale when he describes why the Walter Scott presented so much danger. Huck's admission that " . . . he [Jim] was most always right" is undercut, however, by his statement that Jim " . . . had an uncommon level head, for a nigger." The vulgar label — which, of course, Huck does not recognize as vulgar — shows that Huck still has not accepted Jim as an intellectual or human equal, in spite of the fact that Jim continues to show superior logic, and Huck continues to grow fonder of him.

When the two discuss King Solomon, Jim's practical but single-minded approach cannot convince Huck that Solomon "warn't no wise man nuther." Readers, however, are able to see that it is Huck, and not Jim, who misses the point. The real point, as Jim says, "is down furder — it's down deeper." The statement foreshadows the debate of conscience that Huck undergoes later in the novel.

Glossary

the texas a structure on the hurricane deck of a steamboat, containing the officers' quarters, etc. and having the pilothouse on top or in front.

dauphin the eldest son of the king of France, a title used from 1349 to 1830.

polly-voo franzy parlez-vous Francais, "Do you speak French?"

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According to Tom Sawyer, why must Jim's escape be so elaborate?




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