How Huck Uses His Creativity, Luck, and Wits to Get Rid of the Pits
What would you do if you were a young teenager traveling down the Mississippi River, not knowing where to sleep that night or find food for your next meal? That is the dilemma faced by Huckleberry Finn, and Huck always found a lot of trouble. When most people are in trouble they either take the easy way out and lie, or they use their creativity and wit. The protagonist of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, uses more wit than most fourteen year old kids use in their lifetime. Whenever life hits Huck with a problem, he always conquers it by using awareness, cleverness, and insight.
Before Huck starts his adventure down the river, he must fake his death to "escape" from pap. The first thing Huck did was to make sure that pap was far away before starting his getaway. At this point, many children of Huck's age would merely get in a canoe and head down stream, most likely getting caught the next day. Huckleberry Finn is smarter than that. Huck wanted to make sure that no one would come down the river looking for him, except to make his corpse rise. First, he collected all the supplies that he could find and loaded them into a canoe. After that, he went into the woods and caught a wild hog. He brought the hog in the Cabin, and slaughtered it, making sure that it left behind a pool of blood on the hard packed dirt ground. He disposed of the dead hog by throwing it in the river to float downstream. Huck also opened a sack of corn and left a trail leading to a shallow lake nearby. Before leaving the cabin, he filled another sack with rocks, and made a path toward the river. This was done to simulate the trail of the robbers dragging their bounty to the river bank. Huckleberry hoped that pap would think he was killed by a group of robbers that stole all his possessions. After using these tactics to avert any search parties, he floated down the river to Jackson Island. Huck made every attempt to make sure that he could sail down the river in peace. As Huck had hoped, his plan worked beautifully.
While on Jackson Island, Huck mistakenly met up with a "friend" of his, Jim. After they settled on the island, Huck wanted to find out what was happening at the town across the river. Jim knew that Huck needed to a disguise, and they decided that Huck would dress up as a girl. After putting on a gown and bonnet, Huck took the canoe across the river, and found the house of a stranger. Because he had to keep a low profile for a while, it was important that it was a stranger. As he knocked on the door, he reminded himself to act like a girl. The lady invited him in. They talked about Huck's home town, Tom Sawyer's 20,000 dollars, and inevitably, Huck's murder. The lady soon became suspicious of Huck's femininity. She finally asked Huck, "What is you real name? Is it Bill, or Tom, or Bob?-or what is it?"(Twain 59). Huckleberry finally admitted that he was a male by the name of George Peters. He continued on to weave a tall tale saying that when looking for the town of Goshen, and had received directions from a drunken farmer. Instead of telling the lady his name was Huckleberry Finn and risking the possibility of getting caught with Jim, he extended his lie. To keep his story realistic, he told the lady that both his parents had died, and he left because his new guardian treated him poorly. This was a very good choice because not many strangers will question a person their parent's death. Huck Left the lady's house with a snack and the directions to Goshen. Without being overly inquisitive within this short visit, Huck learned what people thought of his death and possible trouble happening back on the island.
After Huckleberry and Jim outwit their "friends", the king and the duke, Huck lost his best friend and possession, Jim. While floating down stream alone, he spots a young man and asks if he saw any n------ dressed in a funny manner. The boy replies that he saw a n----- going towards the Phelp's place. When the boy asks why Huck wants to know where the n----- was, Huck replied that the n----- threatened to cut out his liver. This naturally encourages the boy to tell Huck more about Jim's whereabouts and condition. Huck learned that an old fellow "nailed him", and Jim is just waiting at the Phelp's farm. Huck starts talking innocently about the reward. The young boy expressed that he would wait seven years to collect the 200 dollar bounty. This is another example of Huck's discreet inquirings. After leaving the boy, he most likely forgot about the situation because Huck didn't pressure information out of him. He only asks in a nonchalant manner, therefore acting innocent and polite
Huckleberry learns that he can only trust a few people. When he is in trouble, he can use his wits to either get out of, or go deeper into trouble. In Huck's case, he usually goes farther into trouble until he can escape. Huck also learns that he can get a lot of information out of people with well worded, yet innocent questions. This is a lesson that people should learn. When in trouble, we have two choices. We can either tell the truth, or have fun and try to use wit, cleverness, and a little bit of luck to save ourselves.