Summary and Analysis
Chapter the Last
Huck asks Tom what they would have done if the escape had worked, and Tom says they would have continued having adventures down to the end of the Mississippi. After they finished, they could ride back home on a steamship, in style, and they would all be heroes.
In conclusion, Huck tells readers that Tom is well now and wears his bullet around his neck on a watch-guard. He says that, if he had known how much trouble it was to write a book, he would not have tried it. Now that he is finished, he must "light out for the Territory ahead of the rest" in order to stay one step ahead of civilization and live in true freedom. Aunt Sally now wants to adopt Huck officially and "sivilize" him, but Huck says he " . . . can't stand it. I been there before."
Although Huck and Jim have both undergone changes in character, the novel returns to its beginnings at the conclusion with the Widow Douglas trying to "sivilize" Huck. The last chapter allows Twain to comment on the process of writing and the difficulty of completing Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain's difficulty was due, in large part, to his struggle to decide between a social commentary and a children's adventure novel. Although Huck declares that if "I'd 'a' knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn't 'a' tackled it," the suggestion is that there will be yet another adventure for Huck, and yet another novel for Twain. Always the maverick, Huck announces that he will continue to try and avoid the trappings of civilization and seek his own freedom.