The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Why, then, doesn't he do something about it? How has his experience of adults taught him this cautious attitude? How is Jim's character contrasted in Chapter 20 with the selfishness of the king and the duke?

From Chapter 17 to Chapter20, Huck knows the king and duke are frauds.

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Huck's interaction with the Duke and the King is at first puzzling and later annoying. He and Jim both are quite aware that the two men are con artists, forcing the reader to question why they put up with them. In fact, Huck is afraid of the consequences of crossing either man. He compares the men to Pap and remarks, "I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way." Thus, Huck and Jim realize that rather then stir up trouble with either of the men, it is best to play along and pretend they have been duped. Jim is unhappy with the situation, commenting at the end of Chapter 20 that he would prefer it if no more kings arrived during the trip. Huck seems to be considering a way out of the situation, but is unable to come up with a good plan. Partially, Huck enjoys watching the two men at work, since their actions create more of an adventure for him.