Huckleberry Finn Quiz Questions
Use these as Huckleberry Finn study questions if you wish. I've even provided the answers.
Question: What complications are present in Huck's life as the novel begins?
Answer: Huck is in limbo as the novel begins. He neither belongs nor wishes to be part of the 'sivilized' world of the widow Douglas. His only alternative, however, is to be back with his abusive father, something he prefers until Pap gets a little too free with the hickory. He also sees no sense in Tom Sawyer's world of romantic adventure, not quite seeing its relevance. It's this inner turmoil that plagues Huck throughout the entire novel. He's been taught one particular way is right, yet his heart tells him different.
Question: How do the adults in Huck's life fail him?
Answer: Huck's father fails his son in every conceivable way a father can. He fails to provide for his physical safety. He fails to support him financially. He abuses him, steals from him, orders him not to go to school, and provides no moral foundation. The Widow Douglas, on the other hand, fails to nurture Huck and prefers to teach him by word and not by deed. Her hypocrisy and failure to explain spiritual matters to Huck only confuses him. The duke and the dolphin are two of the biggest low down scoundrels in all of literature. The only adult in the entire novel who acts fatherly towards Huck is Jim. Yes, that's irony, especially for shallow-minded individuals who consider the book racist.
Question: What is the importance of the setting in the novel?
Answer: The story takes place along the Mississippi River. It is on the river where Huck and Jim feel most at ease. Unfortunately, the encroachment of others ruins their peace. Whenever the two head to land or whenever they encounter other humans on the river, bad things happen.
Question: What are some of the major themes of the novel?
(1) All humans are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;
(2) Greed causes unhappiness;
(3) Wisdom does not come from a classroom or a book. It comes from experience and the heart.
Question: What are some examples of irony in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
(1) The entire narration is ironic in so much as Huck does not understand what he's experiencing. He has put his trust in his society's views of right and wrong, which are not accurate. He has also established Tom Sawyer as an all wise friend, the truth being the opposite;
(2) The Grangerfords and Shepherdsons kill each other over a feud for which nobody remembers the cause;
(3) Pap is angry at Huck...for going to school;
(4) Huck's pap rants about a black man he encounters in town: "They said he was a p'fessor in a college, and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything. And that ain't the wust. They said he could vote." Pap describes a man superior in intellect to himself, yet scolds the government for letting him vote;
(5) Huck thinks he's helping Jim escape, but Jim helps Huck more than Huck helps Jim;
(6) Huck comments on the widow always helping rapscallions and deadbeats, similar to the new judge in town who went out of his way to help Huck's pap;
(7) When the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons go to church, they leave their rifles at the door and listen to the gospel of peace. Their feud recommences immediately upon leaving.