1. Although Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer are presented as contrasting characters in the novel, they are alike in many ways. Compare and contrast the characters of Huck and Tom, giving examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. Superstition is a recurring theme in the novel. Analyze Twain’s satiric treatment of the hairball scene. Examine the answers Huck receives about his life. How does Jim keep the hairball’s comments believable?
1. Huck seems to adapt to almost any situation. He has become accustomed to civilized life with the Widow Douglas. Later he finds life in the woods carefree and easy. Analyze the character of Huck. Discuss possible reasons for his adaptability to different situations. Use examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. Huck’s most poetic language is prompted by a severe thunderstorm on the island. Discuss the reasons for this. In what way does the storm inspire him? Why is he not afraid of the storm? Use examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. Huck’s growing concern for Jim’s welfare is evident in many ways. Discuss the events where this concern is reflected in Huck’s behavior. In what ways does he protect Jim from danger? Cite examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. Huck’s journey on the river is filled with adventures, but it is also a symbolic journey. What does his journey symbolize? How does his relationship with Jim tie in to the symbolism? Compare the symbolism of the shore to that of the river. Use examples from the novel to support your view.
1. The relationship between Huck and Jim is brought into focus in these chapters. How does their frightening separation in the fog draw them closer together? How do they feel about each other at this point in the novel? Give examples from the novel to support your viewpoint.
1. Huck makes a moral decision concerning Jim’s freedom in Chapter 16. How does this decision affect Huck as a character in the novel? Discuss the first time in the novel that he made a decision to help Jim escape to freedom. How did the decision affect him then? Cite examples from the novel to support your view.
1. Harney Shepherdson and Miss Sophia are victims of the feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons. Compare and contrast their conflict with that of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In what way was their situation the same? How was it different? Was Huck sympathetic with the young couple? Give examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. In the novel Huck continually tells stories to get himself out of tight situations. Why doesn’t this bother Huck’s conscience? In what way is Huck forced to tell a lie? Is Huck morally wrong in doing so? Defend your argument with examples from the novel.
1. Twain is satirizing the lynch mob in these chapters. In what way can the individuals in a mob be seen as cowards? Discuss the psychology of a lynch mob. Why is Sherburn successful in breaking up the mob? Cite examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. In these chapters Twain satirizes the gullibility of the townspeople who believe an imposter like the king, but, ironically, do not believe Dr. Robinson. Write an essay comparing the gullibility of the townspeople to people in today’s world. In what ways are people gullible? What makes them gullible? Explain your answer.
1. The king and the duke have been involved in several fraudulent schemes along the river. Compare and contrast the Wilks episode to The Royal Nonesuch in the last town. Why does Huck take action against the frauds in the Wilks episode? Why was he merely an observer in The Royal Nonesuch? How do they compare? How are they different? Use examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. The novel is filled with examples of stories Huck tells when he is in a tight situation. In Chapter 28 he decides that truth is better than lies, however. Why does he have a change of heart in this chapter? How does Huck feel about Mary Jane? Does he trust her with the truth? Does he ever lie to her? Why does he depend on lies to get through difficult situations? Cite examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. Huck makes his ultimate moral decision in Chapter 31 of the novel. What is Twain satirizing in this episode? Explain Huck’s natural morality as opposed to society’s morality. Use examples from the novel to support your answer.
1. Twain paints a bleak, depressing picture of the Phelps Plantation. Compare and contrast Huck’s view of life on the plantation to life on the raft. In what way is his view affected by his recent loss of Jim? Cite examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. The contrasting personalities of Huck and Tom provide the reader with the satiric humor in these chapters. In what way do their personalities contrast? How are Tom’s romantic notions brought out in the plan to free Jim? How does Huck disagree? Cite examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. Two different types of morality are demonstrated in the novel. Contrast Huck’s morality with Tom’s. How are they different? Explain the origins of each of the boys’ sense of morality? Cite examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. Jim is taken out of his prison to help Huck and Tom with the grindstone. In what way is this humorous incident ironic? Why does Jim go back to his prison? Why doesn’t he leave while he has the chance? Why don’t the boys help him to escape? Explain your answer.
1. Jim unselfishly gives up his freedom so they can get a doctor for Tom. Does this act seem consistent with Jim’s character? Why does he do it? Describe one other instance in the novel where Jim is unselfish. Cite examples from the novel to support your argument.
1. Jim is often referred to as a noble character in the novel. In what way is his nobility shown in the last few chapters. How does he show courage by helping the doctor? Why does he do it? What price does he pay? Support your answer with examples from the novel.