The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Characters

In order of appearance:

  • Huckleberry Finn ("Huck" to his friends) is a boy about "thirteen or fourteen or along there" years old. (Chapter 17) He has been brought up by his father, the town drunk, and has a difficult time fitting into society.
  • Widow Douglas is the kind woman who has taken Huck in after he helped save her from a violent home invasion. She tries her best to civilize Huck, believing it is her Christian duty.
  • Miss Watson is the widow's sister, a tough old spinster who also lives with them. She is fairly hard on Huck, causing him to resent her a good deal. Mark Twain may have drawn inspiration for this character from several people he knew in his life.[4]
  • Jim is Miss Watson's physically large but mild-mannered slave. Huck becomes very close to Jim when they reunite after Jim flees Miss Watson's household to seek refuge from slavery, and Huck and Jim become fellow travelers on the Mississippi River.
  • Tom Sawyer is Huck's best friend and peer, the main character of other Twain novels and the leader of the town boys in adventures. He is "the best fighter and the smartest kid in town".[4]
  • "Pap" Finn, Huck's father, a brutal alcoholic drifter. He resents Huck getting any kind of education. His only genuine interest in his son involves begging or extorting money to feed his alcohol addiction.
  • Judith Loftus plays a small part in the novel — being the kind and perceptive woman whom Huck talks to in order to find out about the search for Jim — but many critics believe her to be the best drawn female character in the novel.[4]
  • The Grangerfords, an aristocratic Kentuckian family headed by the sexagenarian Colonel Saul Grangerford, take Huck in after he is separated from Jim on the Mississippi. Huck becomes close friends with the youngest male of the family, Buck Grangerford, who is Huck's age. By the time Huck meets them, the Grangerfords have been engaged in an age-old blood feud with another local family, the Shepherdsons.
  • The Duke and the King are two otherwise unnamed con artists whom Huck and Jim take aboard their raft just before the start of their Arkansas adventures. They pose as the long-lost Duke of Bridgewater and the long-dead Louis XVII of France in an attempt to over-awe Huck and Jim, who quickly come to recognize them for what they are, but cynically pretend to accept their claims to avoid conflict.
  • Doctor Robinson is the only man who recognizes that the King and Duke are phonies when they pretend to be British. He warns the town but they ignore him.
  • Mary Jane, Joanna, and Susan Wilks are the three young nieces of their wealthy guardian, Peter Wilks, who has recently died. The duke and the king try to steal the inheritance left by Peter Wilks, by posing as Peter's estranged brothers from England.
  • Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas Phelps buy Jim from the "Duke" and the "King". She is a loving, high-strung "farmer's wife", and he a plodding old man, both farmer and preacher. Huck poses as their nephew, after he parts from the con men.

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