The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn
takes place in the American South around 1840.
It begins in the town of St. Petersburg, Missouri,
on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Huck Finn is a boy about 13 or 14 years old.
He is the son of the town drunk,
and he is lived most of his life
without a mother and homeless.
He is used to wearing ragged cast-off clothes.
Never going to school and doing pretty much whatever he wants.
He is very good at outdoor things,
比如 打猎 钓鱼还有布置陷阱
like hunting, fishing and trapping.
At the beginning of the book,
he is living in a house.
Because he has been adopted by the Widow Douglas,
who is trying to civilize him.
Huck and the widow lived with the widow’s sister,
Miss Watson, who scolds Huck frequently.
The Widow and Miss Watson also owned a number of slaves.
Whenever he can, Huck sneaks off with his friend Tom Sawyer.
They pretend to be in a robber’s game.
一天晚上 当他和汤姆分离 爬回卧室的时候
One night, Huck climbs into his bedroom window after being out with Tom.
And he finds his vagrant father Pap waiting for him in his bedroom.
Pap tells Huck to stop acting like he is better than his father,
meaning stop going to school and reading.
He makes Huck give him money so he can get drunk.
After a while, Pap kidnaps Huck,
and takes him to live with him in a cabin in the woods by the river.
Huck is happier in some ways, being out of school.
But Pap gets drunk a lot and beats Huck,
and even tries to kill him when he gets so drunk,
he is hallucinating.
One night, when Pap is out.
Huck fakes his own murder and escapes to Jackson’s island.
After a few days on the island,
he stumbles on the remains of a campfire
and realizes someone else is on the island, too.
The other person turns out to be Jim,
a slave owned by Miss Watson,
and part of the household where Huck lived with the widow.
Jim says he has run away,
because he heard Miss Watson talking about selling him down the river for $800.
If that happened he would be
taken from his family and brought down to New Orleans
to be sold as a field worker in the deep South
Huck promises right off not to tell anyone that Jim ran away,
but he knows that keeping this secret is a big deal.
Jim is going to be hunted and any white person
who sees him might stop him and try to take him into custody.
Huck also knows that other white people would
despise him for helping a runaway slave.
But he doesn’t care about this too much,
because he has spent his whole life not following the rules
and being looked down on by most of his town.
He describes himself as sort of lowdown and ornery.
So breaking a rule doesn’t bother him.
Huck and Jim strike up a friendship pretty quickly.
They mostly talk about superstitions and signs,
such as things that say
whether you are going to have bad luck or get rich.
They find a cave high up on the island to camp in,
and soon there is a big storm,
that makes the river rise and cover most of the island.
They catch a raft floating by.
A while later, a house
that has been carried off in the flood floats by.
他们进到那个房子里 找到了一些衣服 钱还有些别的
They go in and find some clothes and money and other items,
and they see a dead man inside the house.
Huck goes to the shore to see if he can hear any news.
He dresses in girl’s clothes that he found in the house,
and he speaks to a woman in a cabin.
The woman figures out that he is a boy, not a girl,
but she doesn’t get mad about it.
She tells him that her husband thinks the runaway slave is hiding on the island,
and is going there with some other men that night,
to try to catch him.
So Huck hurries back to get Jim,
and they start floating down the Mississippi River on the raft.
Huck and Jim have a number of adventures
on the raft, travelling at night.
So no one stops them.
They see an abandoned steamboat
that has been wrecked in the middle of the river.
They sneak onto it.
And then they realize three thieves and murderers are on it.
And they have to steal the gang’s boat to get away.
Huck and Jim get separated in a heavy fog,
with Huck in the canoe and Jim on the raft.
It takes a long time for Huck to find Jim again.
And Jim is overwhelmed with joy when Huck is back.
Huck plays a trick on him by
pretending Jim dreamed about the whole fog,
and they were never separated.
When Jim realizes he is lying,
his feelings are hurt.
And Huck feels bad and apologizes.
That is an important moment.
Because Huck becomes aware that Jim actually cares about him,
and he cares about Jim,
which he hadn’t really thought about before.
Huck and Jim are hoping to come to the town of Cairo.
Bacause that town is where the Ohio River empties into the Mississippi.
If they get off there,
Jim can buy a passage on a steamboat,
going up the Ohio River.
And he will be on the way to freedom.
When they think they are getting close to Cairo.
Huck’s conscience starts to bother him,
because now he is not just hanging out with Jim.
he is close to actually setting him free,
which his society has taught him is wrong.
it’s basically like
stealing Miss Watson’s property from her just to spite her.
but it turns out they passed Cairo in the fog,
and they can’t travel back upstream,
because they are in a raft.
A steamboat coming up the river runs over their raft.
And they have to dive down below its wheel to avoid being killed.
So they get separated.
Huck comes a shore all wet,
and goes to the first house he sees.
He winds up getting taken in
and adopted by a family called the Grangerfords.
He stays with them for a number of days,
becoming friends with a boy whose own age named Buck.
The Grangerfords have been in a feud for thirty years,
with another large wealthy family called the Shepherdsons.
The feud comes to a head when Buck’s sister,
Sophia Grangerford, runs off and elopes with one of the Shepherdsons.
A gun battle takes place,
in which Buck and other family members are killed
and Huck runs away.
Huck reunites with Jim,
who has been hiding in the woods, with the Grangerford’s slaves bringing him food.
They keep going down the river.
And the next thing that happens is
that they rescue a pair of con men,
who are being chased by a crowd of people they have swindled.
How can Jim take them onto the raft and carry them away!
The problem is that
once the con men are on the raft with them,
they don’t want to leave.
And there is nothing Huck and Jim can do about it.
Two men call themselves, the Duke and the King.
One claims that he is really the Duke of Bridgewater,
and the other claims that he is the son of Louis the sixteen
and should be the king of France.
The Duke and the King plan all sorts of scams on the raft.
They practice Shakespearean acting and sword fighting,
plan to impersonate famous actors from London on tour.
At the next town they come to.
They come to a little Arkansas town,
where they see a man named Colonel Sherburn
shoot a harmless drunk who is insulting him.
A lynch mob comes to hang Colonel Sherburn.
But he stands them down,
telling them there are not man enough to lynch him.
The Duke and the King’s Shakespeare performance is a total flop.
So they have changed their approach,
and advertised a show called the Royal Nonesuch.
They get customers to buy tickets,
by saying ladies and children not admit it.
All that happens in the show is that
the King comes out on stage and on fours,
naked and painted different colors.
The show only lasts a minute or two.
The audience knows they have been swindled,
but decides to keep quiet about it,
and tell the other locals to see it, too.
After two nights of this, the Duke and the King run off.
Just as the town is about to pelt them with rotten tomatoes and dead cats.
The Duke and King pull off some other scams,
but their biggest one is when they arrive in a town,
where a man named Peter Wilks has just died.
They pretend to be his long-lost brothers and heirs.
They get the man’s daughters to welcome them into the home,
and they start selling the slaves and liquidating the estate.
Huck steals the money from the Duke and the King,
and tells one of the daughters that they are con men.
The real brothers of the dead man arrived,
and the Duke and King barely managed to escape back to the raft.
The final scam of the Duke and King
is to claim that Jim is a runaway slave,
and sell him to a farmer named Phelps
who can claim a reward for returning him.
That is the last Huck has to deal with the con men.
Soon after, they try the Royal Nonesuch performance,
and get tarred and feathered.
Huck goes to the Phelps’ house to look for Jim,
And the Phelps’ family turned out to be Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle.
Huck pretends that he is Tom Sawyer,
arrived for a visit with the family.
And Tom Sawyer himself shows up,
and pretends to be his own younger brother Sid.
Jim is being kept prisoner in a shed,
and Huck wants to set him free,
which would be extremely easy to do.
Tom insists that they don’t.
He thinks that Jim’s escape
should be like other famous prison escapes he has read about in history and in novels,
involving kings and noblemen.
He wants to dig a tunnel into the shed,
rather than open a door.
He wants Jim to write notes and carbon scription in stone,
to throw out of the prison,
and to water a plant with his tears,
and to make friends with spiders and snakes,
and he makes Jim and Huck participate in all of these.
Finally they set him free.
But they have sent anonymous letters warning the Phelps of danger.
So when they escape with him, farmers shoot at them,
and hit Tom in the leg.
They escape to the raft,
but Huck has to get a doctor to help Tom
and the doctor turns in Jim and Tom.
Tom’s Aunt Polly arrives and exposed the truth about,
who Huck and Tom are.
Tom reveals that Jim was free all along.
Miss Watson had died and set him free in the will.
Tom was just interested in the adventure,
Jim tells Huck that his father Pap is dead, too.
He was the dead man on the floating house.
Tom’s Aunt Sally says she wants to adopt Huck and civilize him,
but Huck has had enough of this.
And he decides to travel to the west.
For more information about Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
check out the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn SparkNote at www.spatknotes.com.
For a translation of the entire book into modern English,
可以去www.sparknotes.com的No Fear Literature专栏
go to No Fear Literature at www.sparknotes.com