Of course, Huck Finn is the star of the book, but the runaway slave, Jim, also plays a large and integral part in the novel. Huck Finn learns a lot about life from his relationship with Jim. Mark Twain has created two interesting and well-rounded characters.
- Huckleberry Finn: Main character; boy; Runs away from his pa and sails down the Mississippi River, adventurous, ornery, resourceful, loyal, and values freedom.
- Jim: Runaway slave (from Miss Watson–see below), wants freedom, loves his family, good friend to Huck Finn, sails down the Mississippi River with Huck Finn.
There are more minor characters from Huckleberry Finn than are mentioned here, but these are the characters who play an important part in Huck Finn’s adventures. To keep track of every character keep a list in your reading response journal while you are reading the novel.
- Tom Sawyer: Huckleberry Finn’s friend and the same Tom Sawyer from the book: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He shows up in the beginning and the end of Huck Finn’s book, and once again, the boys are always looking for adventure and getting into trouble.
- Widow Douglas/Miss Watson: Two sisters who adopt Huck Finn; Huck Finn and Miss Watson are like oil and water. Huck Finn does not want to disappoint Widow Douglas.
- Pap: Huck Finn’s drunk and mean father who wants Huck’s treasure
- The Duke and the King: Two con men whom Huck and Jim meet while they are on the river. The men claim to be an actual duke and king. Huck and Jim get mixed up in their schemes.
- Judge Thatcher: The judge who is responsible for Huck Finn, along with the Widow Douglas. It is his job to safeguard Huck’s money. You may remember Becky Thatcher, his daughter, from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
There are still more important characters from Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain liked to write about people in his community to exemplify his beliefs about society and the way people act.
- Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas: Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle who have Jim in custody because they want to return him to his rightful owner.
- Aunt Polly: Tom Sawyer’s aunt whom he lives with
- The Grangerford Family: When a steamboat hits the raft that holds Jim and Huck and they become separated, the Grangerfords take in Huck. They are feuding with another family.
Mark Twain is one of the most well-known authors whose books are still read today. Part of his success is the way he was a master at making characters come alive on the page. If you can keep track of the characters and understand how they work together to tell the story, then you will have a better understanding of this famous novel.
This post is part of the series: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Study Guides
- Study Guide for Huckleberry Finn themes
- Study Guide for Characters from Huckleberry Finn
- Important Quotes from Huckleberry Finn