Sunday, September 25, 2011

Huckleberry Finn: Chapters 21-30

In chapter 21 the duke and king decide they are going to put on a play.  They practice Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet's soliloquy for an on encore.  When they come to the next town they stop and are in luck because there's a circus coming that day and maybe people will stay for their play.  They make up a bill and flyers and place them throughout the town which Huck describes in detail.  There is a drunk man that is yelling outside of Colonel Sherburn's place and the colonel comes outside and tells the drunk man that he will listen to this until 1 and not past that.  The drunk man continues to cuss and yell and so the colonel comes out and shoots him in the street.  At this the colonel drops the gun and walks off, the townspeople take the drunk man and try to help him but it's too late and he dies.  The people reinact the shooting and decide that the colonel should be lynched, and the townspeople go off to get rope for the hanging.

The mob heads to Sherburn's house and they say "knock the fence down," in chapter 22.  Sherburn comes out on the roof of his front porch with a gun and cocks it.  For a moment it's silent and still, the crowd having too look down.  Sherburn laughs and goes on a rant about how there are no men in this crowd.   In the North the man takes whatever is given to him and he goes home and prays for patience, in the South men come at night in masks to lynch someone.  He says there are no men here so they should all go home and leave.  The crowd turns and quickly goes home.  Huck sneaks into the circus, even though he has money, he figures he should save his money because he's far away from home in the midst of strangers.  The circus was fun, there was a man that acted drunk and made a big scene.  The ring master told the man that if he thought he could ride the horse and promised to stop making a scene he could try.  The man got on the horse and at first seemed to be flailing all over, until he stood on the horse and then undressed into a shiny outfit.  The man rode the horse off and the ring master was quite mad that his own person fooled him.  That night was the kind and duke's show and only 12 people came.  These people laughed the whole time and left before it was over.  The duke was mad at this and so he made up a new bill and posted it.

In chapter 23 the duke and king get a little payback at the town for laughing at them.  In the play the duke comes out naked and painted and looks so crazy and dances around, the crowd thought it was hilarious and they made him do it two more times.  When he was done it was announced that that was the end of the show.  The men were mad and going to storm the stage but one man says we don't want to look bad to the rest of the town so tonight talk up this show and have others come tomorrow.  The next night it was packed again and the crowd that night was fooled.  The third night the crowd comes and this time it's the same men that had come before but with eggs and cabbages hidden under their clothes.  When the duke sees this they all break for the raft and get away.  That night Jim didn't wake Huck for his turn to watch the raft and when Huck woke Jim was clearly homesick and moaning.  When Huck asked him what was wrong Jim told him the story about his daughter.  She wouldn't listen to him and Jim smacked her across the face but she still didn't do what he asked, so Jim went behind her and made a loud noise to scare her but she again didn't move.  At this Jim swept her up in his arms and asked the Lord to forgive him for hitting her because she was deaf and dumb.

Chapter 24 makes Huck ashamed of the human race.  The night they set sail they came to a part where there were two different towns on either side of the river.  The duke and king were trying to figure out how they could get money from them.  The king got some nice clothes and took Huck along with him.  They went down the river and saw a boy on the side of the shore.  He told them of the story of a man who was sick and only wanted to see his two brother's before he died.  His brother's lived in England and were sent word a month before but they had not yet come.  The boy said that the man had died the night before, and with that the king helped the boy to the steamboat and him and Huck went to the shore.  The king told Huck to quickly go back and get the duke.  When the duke got there the duke and king pretended to be the two brother's who were there to see the man before he died.  When the townspeople told them that he died the night before they cried and carried on like they were devastated.  The townspeople took the two up to the city carrying their bags and letting them cry the whole way.  

In chapter 25 the duke and king were taken to the house their "nieces" were there and embraced them with such a hug as to embrace your true family.  They went over to the coffin and the room became quiet, when they saw the body they burst out crying as did everyone else.  There wasn't a dry eye there and all the women went up to the girls and kissed them.  The king and duke read the letter and went and got the money that was found and counted it in front of everyone and then they gave it to their "nieces."  The doctor comes that was friends with the man who died and stood there listening to the king speak for awhile.  He then laughs in the king's face and says how he's an imposter and has an awful fake accent.  The townspeople try to tell the doctor how the men have proven they are truly the deceased brothers.  The doctor then looks at the girls and tells them that he cares for them and wants no harm done to them, so he warns them that the king and duke are imposters.  One girl replies by giving the doctor $6,000 and tells him to invest it for them.  The doctor warns that one day everyone will look back on this with a sick feeling but then leaves.

Chapter 26 began with one of the girls offering the different beds to the duke, king and Huck.  They seemed to be satisfied and then they went down for dinner.  Huck stood behind the king and waited on him until dinner was over when he was able to eat with another girl.  She asked Huck many questions about England and he got himself in a bind a few times.  The girl told Huck how she didn't believe him because of the "stretches" he made.  Then two other girls came in and told this younger girl that she should feel ashamed and be nice to Huck.  The girls made Huck feel at home and this made Huck feel very guilty because he was letting the duke and king steal from them.  Huck decides to turn in early and comes up with a plan to steal the money from the duke and king and hide it and then write a letter to Mary Jane, one of the girls, where it's hidden.  Huck goes to the king's room to look for the money when the king and duke came in.  The duke wanted to leave and the king talked him out of it saying they could still sell all the property and get all the money from that.  Then they decided to move the money from the current hiding spot, which was where Huck happened to be hiding.  They moved the money and Huck knew exactly where it was.  The duke and king headed back downstairs and Huck went up to his room.  He listened and when everyone had turned in and the house was quiet he got out of bed.

In chapter 27 Huck starts down the ladder and goes to hide the money, when he hears someone coming down the stairs behind him.  The only place he sees to hide the money is in the coffin.  The person coming down the stairs was Mary Jane and she went to the coffin and cried, but still none of the watch men were stirred.  Huck went back to his room and had to think this through.  He wanted to go get the money and hide it but he didn't want to risk getting caught.  The next morning was the funeral and everyone came to pay their respects.  The king wastes no time in selling the slaves and other property off.  There was a lot of talk because the sons and mother slaves were separated and no one like that.  After the slaves were sold the duke and king asked Huck why he went into the king's room, at this Huck says he hasn't been in there since Mary Jane had shown them all around.  The king asks Huck if he's seen anyone else go in the room , and Huck says that the slaves had gone in there but came out one by one.  The king and duke are very upset at this and then the king gets mad at Huck.  They go off and Huck is glad that he was able to blame the slaves without doing any harm to them.

Chapter 28 reveals Huck's true character.  He decides to tell Mary Jane what is going on with the two "uncles" of hers.  He tells her everything from the beginning all the way up until that moment.  Huck then comes up with an idea of her going away for the day and coming back later that evening.  If he doesn't come to her room at 11pm then he has gotten away safely.  Then she will tell the town of the two frauds and call upon those who were at the play to help prove that these two men were not really her uncles.  She leaves before breakfast and Huck tells others that she has gone across the river because a close friend is ill but she sends love and kisses to her uncles.  That day the auction is held and the king makes sure to sell everything off.  

In chapter 29 the real brothers come and the doctor believes them.  The real set of brothers go to the hotel to wait because when their luggage arrives they'll be able to prove who they are.  The doctor and others set to questioning the duke and king about who they are.  They then decide to question them all together and brought Huck along too.  They compared hand-writing but to no avail because the brother that broke his arm was the one that wrote the letters.  The real brother asked the king and duke what was on the man's breast, and the king responded that it was a small arrow that you couldn't really see unless you were looking.  The real brother disagrees and said that it was letters with dashes inbetween them, and the people who buried the man said neither was on there that they didn't see anything.  This brought the group to walk to the cemetery to dig the man up.  The lightning and rain had started and when they got to the cemetery the crowd realized that they hadn't brought a lantern.  They continued to dig and found the money in the coffin still, with a loud snap of lightning the person holding Huck's wrists let go and he was able to escape and ran straight through town to where the raft and Jim were.  They quickly got off and Huck was thrilled that they were rid of the king and duke until he turned around and saw them coming towards them down the river at which it took everything for Huck not to cry.

In chapter 30 the king got on the boat and immediately went after Huck asking what he was doing trying to give them the slip.  Huck said only that he was able to get away and he thought he was going to be hung so when he got to the canoe he told Jim to go and that he thought that the king and duke were dead already.  The king and duke fight about how the money got in the coffin and the duke held down the king and choked which was when the king admitted to hiding the gold there.  The duke warned that if he ever denied he did it he would drown him straight away.  After this Huck felt much easier because he was worried about getting caught.  The king and duke then sent away for their bottles of alcohol and by the end of the night seemed to be chummy again as they fell asleep.  At this point Huck sat and told Jim everything.

In these chapters the mob mentality that was spoken about when we read My Kinsman.  In chapter 22 when the mob wants to kill the Colonel he talks about how now true man is in that group.  He also talks about how the mob is one of the most shameful things to be in because no man finds courage in himself rather the numbers he's part of.  I think this is true of all times.  This still goes on today even in high school girls, but it doesn't end there.  You can see the mob mentality everywhere and it's truly disgraceful.  The colonel tells this mob how awful they are and how there is no one courageous about them and to go off, and they did.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the story of the duke and king pretending to be the brother's of the dead man.  It makes me despise them and not like them anymore than I already did but that's not really saying much.  I think that they are truly disgraceful people for scamming so many people out of their money.  There are people like this today like investment people who will take money from people and embezzle it instead of investing it.  When these people are getting close to getting caught they change their identity and get away, or they simply go to another country where the United States doesn't have jurisdiction.  I wish that the duke and king hadn't gotten away, more the king than the duke.  The duke had some remorse whereas the king wanted to get every last cent out of these innocent people as they could. I wish that Huck would have been able to get rid of them for good.

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