Notes on Characters from Huckleberry Finn

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Huckleberry Finn Major Characters

Huckleberry Finn: Main character of the book. He is an illegitimate child who runs away from his adopted family to be free of society and civilization. Huck is Tom Sawyer's sidekick, and Tom is Huck's best friend. Throughout the book, Huck journeys down the Mississippi River with Jim, Miss Watson's slave. Together they have many adventures. They hide out along the river, are almost killed by robbers on a wrecked boat, and meet two con artists who call themselves the King and the Duke. These two crooks nearly get Huck and Jim tarred and feathered by performing bad plays. Because of the King and the Duke, Huck gets involved in a plot to steal Mr. Wilks' money. Finally, Huck manages to rescue Jim out of slavery with Tom's help. Through spending so much time with Jim, and some of his other experiences along the river, Huck reveals a strong sense of humanity.

Tom Sawyer: Huck's best friend who freely spins lies and loves adventure. He wants things to be exactly as they are in the adventure books he reads, and he uses the books as a guide describing the correct ways to steal, rob, and kidnap. He has many romantic ideas, including founding a gang of robbers. The gang will be run exactly as they are in the adventure books. They will rob, steal, and even murder, because that is what the books say they do. Tom helps Huck to free Jim at the end of the story by persuading Huck to use the ideas Tom has learned from adventure books.

Widow Douglas: Adopts Huck to try and civilize him. Her sister is Miss Watson.

Miss Watson: Sister of the Widow Douglas. She tries to teach Huck religion and how to spell.

Jim: Miss Watson's slave. He runs away and journeys down the Mississippi River with Huck. Together, they have many adventures, and Huck becomes best friends with Jim.

Pap: Huck's drunkard father. He kidnaps Huck because he wants his money, but Huck escapes.

Judge Thatcher: He is charge of Huck's money. He has Huck's best interest at heart. He tries to keep Huck away from Pap, Huck's drunkard father.

Shepherdsons : The opposing family to the Grangerfords. They fight the Grangerfords and are responsible for killing Buck, Buck's father, and his two brothers.

Buck: The smallest son of the Grangerford family. Huck becomes good friends with Buck. Buck gets killed in the battle with the Shepardsons. It makes Huck sick to see violence like this.

Grangerfords: The family that Huck meets after he jumps off of the raft. They take him in and feed and clothe him. They are in a feud with the Shepherdson family. Their daughter, Miss Sophia, runs away with Harney Shepherdson. This starts a battle that ends in tragedy.

The Duke: A younger man in trouble that Jim and Huck take on their raft. He tells them he is a Duke and should be treated like one. He is very crafty and is always scheming. He pretends to be Peter Wilks' deaf and dumb brother William. He is tarred and feathered at the end of the book for his cons and performing bad plays.

The King: An older man in trouble that Jim and Huck take on their raft. He tells them he is a King and should be treated like one. He pretends to be Peter Wilks' brother, Harvey. Along with the Duke, he is tarred and feathered at the end of the book for his cons and performing bad plays.

Peter Wilks: The dead man who leaves his estate to his two brothers and nieces. The King and the Duke pretend to be his long lost brothers from England.

Aunt Sally Phelps: Tom Sawyer's aunt and Uncle Silas' wife. Jim is being kept at her house. Tom and Huck rescue Jim from a cabin on their property.

Uncle Silas Phelps: Tom Sawyer's uncle and Aunt Sally's husband. Jim is being kept on his property.

Minor Characters

Judith Loftus: When Huck dresses as a girl to go and try to find out some information about what has been happening around town, he comes across a house in the woods. It is Mrs. Loftus' house. She invites him in, they talk, and she fixes him a snack before he leaves. She tells Huck that she knows he is really a boy. She tests him by making him thread a needle, catch something in between his legs, and throw a bar of lead.

Emmeline Grangerford: She is the dead daughter of the Grangerford family. She wrote poetry and painted; her subjects were always about dead people. Huck feels bad that no one writes poetry about her, now that she is dead. He tries to write some for her, but isn't pleased with what he writes.

Miss Sophia Grangerford: She is one of the beautiful Grangerford daughters. She asks Huck to go and get the Testament that she left in Church. He does, and discovers a note for her inside the book. Later that night, Miss Sophia runs away with one of the Shepherdson boys, Harney Shepherdson.

Harney Shepherdson: He is one of the Shepherdson boys. He runs away with one of the Grangerford girls, Miss Sophia.

Boggs: He is a drunk with a red face, who appears to be around fifty years old. He comes galloping to town on a horse, and gets teased and harassed by some of the town members for yelling and causing a ruckus. Colonel Sherburn shoots him and kills him because he won't calm down.

Colonel Sherburn: A very well-dressed fifty-five year old man. He is a respected member of the town into which Boggs gallops. He shoots Boggs for yelling like a lunatic in the streets. When the town crowds around his house, seeking revenge for killing Boggs, he insults them by telling them they are all just a bunch of cowards. Everyone eventually clears out.

Mary Jane: She is one of the sweet daughters of Peter Wilks. She trusts the King and the Duke immediately, even though they are liars. She doesn't even hesitate to give them the money that her father left in his will. Huck truly likes her and tells her that the King and the Duke are conning her family for the money her father left in his will.

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