Study Guide

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Friendship

By Mark Twain

Friendship

Chapter 1
Huckleberry Finn

Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn't think much of it. But I never said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and she said not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together. (1.7)

Aw. Huck likes Tom so much that he wants to stay with him even in Hell. Luckily for him (we guess), Miss Watson seems pretty sure that they'll end up there together.

Chapter 2
Tom Sawyer

"Now, we'll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer's Gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in blood." (2.10)

Tom has some pretty intense ideas about friendship, too—like the idea that you have to swear your loyalty to your friends in blood. Oh, and offer up your family as collateral.

Chapter 8
Jim

"No! W'y, what has you lived on? But you got a gun. Oh, yes, you got a gun. Dat's good. Now you kill sumfn en I'll make up de fire." (8.39)

Check this out: Huck has the gun, and Jim has the fire. Alone, they're useless (although at least Jim would be warm.) But together, they have heat, food, and companionship—everything a guy needs, right?

Huckleberry Finn

Well, I warn't long making him understand I warn't dead. I was ever so glad to see Jim. I warn't lonesome now. I told him I warn't afraid of HIM telling the people where I was. I talked along, but he only set there and looked at me; never said nothing. (8.25)

Huck may be enjoying his frolic on the island, but he's lonely. Is he glad to see Jim because he already considers Jim a friend—or is he just glad to see anyone?

Chapter 15
Jim

"Goodness gracious, is dat you, Huck? En you ain' dead—you ain' drownded—you's back agin? It's too good for true, honey, it's too good for true. Lemme look at you chile, lemme feel o' you. No, you ain' dead! you's back agin, 'live en soun', jis de same ole Huck—de same ole Huck, thanks to goodness!" (15.19)

Huck may have to be educated into friendship with Jim, but Jim seems to come by it naturally. Just check out his sweet way of talking: "honey," "chile," "same ole Huck"—we don't really know why Jim seems to like him so much, but it shows what a good friend he's ready to be.

Chapter 16
Jim

"Pooty soon I'll be a-shout'n' for joy, en I'll say, it's all on accounts o' Huck; I's a free man, en I couldn't ever ben free ef it hadn' ben for Huck; Huck done it. Jim won't ever forgit you, Huck; you's de bes' fren' Jim's ever had; en you's de ONLY fren' ole Jim's got now." (16.14)

Huck is the only white man who's ever kept his promises to Jim, and to Jim, that makes Huck his best friend. We have to agree. Loyalty is definitely one of the most important qualities of a friend—but is it the only one?

Chapter 19
The Duke and The King

"Old man," said the young one, "I reckon we might double-team it together; what do you think?" (19.16)

Talk about meet-cute. These two guys start off trying to con each other, and they end up going off to con the whole word—or, at least, the whole Mississippi. With the duke and the king, we get a pretty good look at how not to do friendship.

Huckleberry Finn

The duke done it, and Jim and me was pretty glad to see it. It took away all the uncomfortableness and we felt mighty good over it, because it would a been a miserable business to have any unfriendliness on the raft; for what you want, above all things, on a raft, is for everybody to be satisfied, and feel right and kind towards the others. (19.48)

After the duke and king decide to work together, Huck is relieved. It's hard enough to deal with feuds and fights in a high school; imagine trying to work them out on a raft. (Actually, someone call the networks—sounds like a great setup for a reality TV show.)

Chapter 23
Huckleberry Finn

I went to sleep, and Jim didn't call me when it was my turn. He often done that. (23.30)

So, we're reading along, chuckling at Huck's wacky antics, when Twain comes along and hits us in the gut with something like this: "He often done that." There's Jim, looking out for Huck just like a dad—or like a friend.

Chapter 32
Huckleberry Finn

But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. (31.23)

Here, Huck is trying to come up with something, anything, that'll "harden" him against Jim, so he can turn the man in or at least write to Miss Watson to tell her where her slave is. But he can't. Gee, we wish we had a friend like that.