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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by: Mark Twain

Adventure

1

Now we’ll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer’s gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in blood.

In Chapter 2, Tom convenes a gang of boys who wish to be robbers and pirates. The express purpose of the gang is thus to go on adventures. The particular adventures that Tom envisions all come from various adventure stories that he’s read. Indeed, this is where he got the idea of a blood oath: Tom claims that “every gang that was high-toned” should require its members to swear such an oath. The fact that Tom derives his sense of adventure from a domestic activity like reading is gently ironic, and it emphasizes the boyish, immature nature of the gang.

2

I felt just the way any other boy would a felt when I see that wreck laying there so mournful and lonesome in the middle of the river. I wanted to aboard of her and slink around a little.

In this quote from Chapter 12, Huck expresses his desire to jump aboard the wreckage of a ship and explore it. Huck’s youthful excitement connects him to his friend Tom Sawyer, whose adventurous spirit is documented in Twain’s earlier novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Like Tom, Huck’s thirst for adventure tends to get him into dangerous situations. This episode, which occurs early in Huck and Jim’s journey down the Mississippi, will contrast with later episodes when Huck begins to realize the real-world consequences of the type of adventurous spirit expressed here.

3

Work? Why, cert’nly it would work, like rats a-fighting. But it’s too blame’ simple; there ain’t nothing to it. What’s the good of a plan that ain’t no more trouble than that?

Tom Sawyer utters these words to Huck in Chapter 34, when Huck proposes a straightforward plan to liberate Jim from captivity. Tom rejects the plan because it lacks the kind of complexity and panache he’s encountered in numerous adventure stories. At this point, near the end of the novel, Huck understands the gravity of Jim’s situation more intimately than Tom, and this quotation demonstrates just how emotionally immature Tom’s understanding remains in comparison to Huck’s.