Friday, August 7, 2009

Huck Finn: Characters & Setting

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn takes place on the Missouri section of the Mississippi River, in 1835-1845. The book was published in 1884, and Twain said the events in the novel occurred 40-50 years before the book was published.

The town where Huck and Tom live is called "St. Petersburg", but is based on Hannibal Missouri.

Here are the characters:

Huckleberry Finn: Roughly 14 years old, illiterate, impoverished, and all but orphaned. Through recent adventures, has come into a large amount of money, which leads his virtually absent father to reappear, in hopes of cashing in on the windfall. Huck is a natural prevaricator, and uses a variety of names throughout the novel: Sarah Mary Williams, George Jackson, Alexander James Hopkins, George Peters....

Tom Sawyer: Huck's friend, and possessor of a huge and romantically adventurous imagination.

Judge Thathcher: Becky Thatcher's father (see the book Tom Sawyer), and trustee for Huck's money.

Widow Douglas: Woman who takes in Huck after he comes in to money.

Miss Watson: Widow Douglas' overly sanctimonious sister, and Jim's owner.

Jim: Miss Watson's slave, and Huck's friend and companion during the book.

Jo Harper, Ben Rogers, Tommy Barnes, and others: Members of Tom Sawyer's "Pirate Gang"

Pap Finn: Huck's no-good father

(Nameless) New Judge and Wife: Do-gooders who try to reform Pap Finn - to Huck's disadvantage. They get stung by Pap in the end.

Judith Loftus: New resident of St. Petersburg, who catches out Huck when he's fishing for information disguised as a girl.

Jim Turner, Bill and Jake Packard: Thieves on the wrecked riverboat

Bob, "Child of Calamity", Ed, Little Davy: Braggerts on the large raft. Little Davy is apparently the top man in the hierarchy, and breaks up the fight.

John and Mr. Parker: Slave Catchers

The Grangerford Family: Colonal G., Bob (oldest son), Tom (second son), Rachel, Miss Charlotte (daughter), Miss Sophia (daughter) Buck (youngest son, roughly Huck's age), Joe (cousin), Bud (deceased cousin), Emmeline (deceased daughter who wrote tragic poetry), Betsy (slave), Jack (slave assigned to Huck), Saul

The Shephardsons: Young Harney, Baldy

The Duke of Bridgewater and the Dauphin: Grifters and confidence men. Use aliases of Rev Elexander Blodgett, David Garrick the Younger, Edmund Keen the Elder, etc...

Elizabeth and Johnny: Jim's children. Elizabeth is deaf after a bout with scarlet fever.

The Wilks Family: Peter (deceased), Harvey, his brother who is a preacher in England, William, another brother who is deaf/mute, George, another brother who is deceased. George is the father of Mary Jane, Susan and Joanna (who has a harelip).

Wilks family friends: Hobson (Baptist preacher), Deacon Lot Havey, Abner Shackleford, Attorney Levi Bell, Dr. Robinson and Widow Bartley. Other neighbors include the Proctors, the Lathrops and the Apthorps.

Sally and Silas Phelps - Tom Sawyer's aunt and uncle

William Thompson - Tom Sawyer's first alias when he first arrives at his aunt and uncle's house.

Sid Sawyer - Tom's second alias when he arrives at his aunt and uncle's house. Sid is Tom's real younger half brother.

Nat - the slave that feeds Jim while he's held captive at the Phelps' farm.

Matilda Angelina Araminta Phelps: Sally and Silas' daughter

Thomas Franklin Benjamin Jefferson Elexander Phelps: Sally and Silas' son





(to be continued...)

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