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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain
Summary Key Questions and Answers
Summary Key Questions and Answers

9) What is the significance of the town of Cairo, Illinois?

Cairo, Illinois, which lies at the southern tip of the free states, is where Huck and Jim are headed with their raft. Huck explains the plan: “We would sell the raft and get on a steamboat and go way up the Ohio amongst the free States, and then be out of trouble.” Unfortunately, Huck and Jim pass by Cairo during a heavy fog, an event that marks a turning point in the story because once they are south of Cairo, Huck and Jim are drifting farther and farther into the slave states of the south. The farther south they go, the harder it will be for Jim to avoid recapture.