Study Guide

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 5

By Mark Twain

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Chapter 5

  • Alcoholic, abusive Pap does what all alcoholic, abusive fathers do: he drinks and abuses Huck.
  • He's also trying to stop his son from gaining an education, life, civilized upbringing, culture, knowledge, and basically anything that he himself doesn't have.
  • He demands that Huck stop going to school and stop learning about religion and even tears up one of his schoolbooks.
  • Oh, and he wants money.
  • But Huck is all, "Money? What money?"
  • Ah-ha. This is why Huck handed his money over to the Judge.
  • Pap does manage to steal the last dollar Huck has, which he uses to get drunk in town.
  • The next day, still drunk, Pap harasses the judge about getting Huck's money.
  • Judge Thatcher turns him down and tries to get the court to officially remove him from a position as Huck's legal guardian.
  • Unfortunately, there's a new judge in town who doesn't know how bad this guy is, and he refuses.
  • Pap threatens to beat Huck senseless if he doesn't get some money, so Huck scrapes together $3, which Pap promptly drinks. He then wanders around town causing trouble until he gets jailed.
  • But this new judge in town believes in myths as the tooth fairy and man's inherent goodness. He thinks Pap is just reaching out for help.
  • So, the judge takes Pap in and gives him a bed and a new jacket.
  • Pap promptly sells the jacket for liquor, and now the judge has had it: he says that maybe you could reform a man with a shotgun, but that's about it.

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