Mrs. Reed's AP/GP Classroom

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Huck Finn: Discussion Questions

This is an open forum for my AP Language students to discuss our current class reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Feel free to answer the discussion questions in any order you wish.

You are also welcome to respond to your classmates’ comments.

You will earn 50 enrichment points for each five questions you answers.  Only answers following the rules of standard formal English and at least 75 words will count.

Please post your class period next to your name to ensure you get credit for your workl




  1. reedr1 says:

    Huck begins and ends the novel by resisting being “sivilized.” What do you think Huck means by this? What does he do to resist being “sivilized?”

  2. reedr1 says:

    Did you ever fantasize about running away? What did you hope to accomplish?

  3. reedr1 says:

    Describe the relationship between Huck and Jim. Does their relationship change over time? In what way?

  4. reedr1 says:

    What is the role of the Mississippi River in this book?

  5. reedr1 says:

    What did freedom mean to Huck? What did it mean to Jim

  6. reedr1 says:

    Huck’s sound heart and deformed conscience came into conflict in this novel. Describe one situation and tell how Huck resolves the conflict. Remember a situation where your heart and conscience have experienced conflict. Were you able to resolve it in a way that brought you peace

  7. reedr1 says:

    Twain uses dialect to portray characters realistically and to enhance mood. What effect does dialect have on you as you read

  8. reedr1 says:

    Compare and contrast society in Twain’s time to today’s society. Does time change the “message” of the book

  9. reedr1 says:

    Ernest Hemmingway has said that all modern American literature come from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. What features make this book modern? What features make this book American

  10. reedr1 says:

    What makes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a controversial and banned book? What makes the book important and popular in today’s world?

  11. reedr1 says:

    Chapters 1-7 set up life on shore prior to Huck and Jim’s adventure. What details does Twain use to give up an impression of this life? Why does he begin this way? Why is it important for the reader to picture that antebellum world of Missouri

  12. reedr1 says:

    What role does Tom Sawyer play in this opening section? How does Huck view Tom? What does this tell us about how Huck views himself?

  13. reedr1 says:

    How are the relationships with adults which Huck has before the journey based on manipulation? How does his relationship with Jim differ once they are on the river? (Compare Huck and Pap and Huck and Jim

  14. reedr1 says:

    The first section of the novel ends with Huck’s staged death. In what ways does this serve a symbolic function?

  15. reedr1 says:

    The motif of the journey is an important one in the novel, setting up the second section of the book, Chapters 8-30. How does Twain invest this journey with symbolic qualities? How does it help him establish structure for this section of the novel?

  16. reedr1 says:

    Can this journey also be seen as the search for a home? If so, in what way?

  17. reedr1 says:

    Twain often suggests and Endenic quality to life on the raft before the arrival of the Duke and Dauphin. What details does he use to convey this? Why is this important to the experience of Huck and Jim?

  18. reedr1 says:

    One of the advantanges to the first person narrator for Twain’s work is that it allows him to hold the various episodes together in a meaningful way. How does the narrative voice allow this? How else does the narrative voice contribute to the novel?

  19. reedr1 says:

    How does Twain convey social satire in the Grangerford episode, Chapters 17 and 18? What is he satirizing? How can this section also be seen as tragic?

  20. reedr1 says:

    What function do the Duke and the Dauphin serve? How do they allow Twain to comment on antebellum society? How do they affect life on the raft?

  21. reedr1 says:

    Why does Twain include the Sherburn — Boggs section?

  22. reedr1 says:

    What happens in the Wilks episode? Why is this section important to Huck’s development?

  23. reedr1 says:

    What signs do we see of Huck’s growth? How does he change by the end of the river journey? Chapter 31 marks the culmination of Huck’s moral growth as well as the end of the river journey. What does it reveal? How does Twain develop the themes of loyalty and betrayal in Chapter 31?

  24. reedr1 says:

    Is it ironic that Huck becomes “Tom” in Chapter 32? What effect does it have on him? This is the last “identity” that Huck tries on. Has he learned anything by trying on all of the roles he has played?

  25. reedr1 says:

    What is the function of the Phelps Farm episode?

  26. reedr1 says:

    How do you evalutate the end? Does knowledge of Jim’s freedom change the way we view Tom’s concept of adventure? What does Huck’s final decision to “light out for the territories” suggest?

  27. reedr1 says:

    Does Jim change in the novel? Does the Phelps Farm episode put Jim back into his old role? Is this a problem?

  28. reedr1 says:

    Is this a racist book? Should students read it in high school?

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