The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the morning, Huck wants to find the middle of the island, so he and Jim set out and find it. This place is a high hill or ridge with a cavern in its side. Jim convinces Huck that the two of them should hide their gear in the cavern in case people come looking for them. He also convinces Huck to hide the canoe nearby. Having hidden everything, Huck and Jim eat in the cavern.
While freedom is very important to Huck, it is all the more so for Jim, who faces severe punishment if he is caught, and a life of enslavement and separation from his beloved family. For this reason, Jim is all the more protective of his freedom and so takes extra precautions, like hiding the gear in the cavern.
Themes
Slavery and Racism Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Outside, it begins to rain fiercely. Huck is very content, however, and Jim points out that Huck wouldn’t be in the cavern were it not for him, that Huck would be out in the woods drowning in the rain. During subsequent days, Huck and Jim paddle all over the flooded island in their canoe. Animals abound, meek with hunger. Jim and Huck see saw-logs drift by, but leave them for fear of being discovered. Indeed, the pair never goes out in daylight.
At the beginning of the novel, Huck is racist and has little respect for the intelligence of black people. However, Huck is forced to acknowledge his own prejudice as Jim proves again and again that he is just as reasonable and practical as his white companion. He saved Huck from the storm, and his cautiousness protects Huck too.
Themes
Slavery and Racism Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
One night a two-story cabin floats by. Though Huck and Jim board the cabin through a window, it is too dark to see anything, so they lash their canoe to the cabin and wait to explore till morning. At dawn, the two look into the cabin. They see furniture and what Jim identifies as a dead man, shot in the back, whose face, Jim tells Huck, is too “gashly” to look at. Also on the floor of the cabin are cards, whisky bottles, black masks; and on the walls there are words scribbled in charcoal. Jim and Huck take some men and women’s clothing from the house into the canoe, along with other supplies. Huck and Jim then shove off from the house, Jim lying down in the canoe and covered with a quilt to avoid discovery, and the pair drifts safely downriver.
Though it is not revealed here, the corpse that Jim discovers is that of Huck’s father, Pap. Jim, shows a kind of parental care for Huck by refusing to reveal this to Huck, to protect Huck from the scene of his father’s brutal murder. The evidence Jim and Huck discover in the cabin suggests that Pap was drunk, maybe cheated at cards for personal gain, and was murdered by the men whom he cheated, who wore masks to commit their crime. Pap was vicious to the end. Despite the gory scene, Huck and Jim are resourceful enough to take from the cabin what they can use.
Themes
Society and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon