American Literature books summary

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Huck concludes that a conscience is useless, since it makes you feel bad for everyone. Tom agrees. Huck is impressed by Tom's intelligence when he skillfully figures out that Jim is being held in a shed. Huck's plan to free Jim is to steal the key and make off with Jim by night. Tom belittles this plan for its simplicity and lack of showmanship. Tom's plan is fifteen times better than Huck's for its style{it might even get all three killed. Meanwhile, Huck is incredulous that respectable Tom is going to sacrifice his reputation by helping a slave escape.

Huck and Tom get Jim's keeper, a superstitious slave, to let them see him. When Jim cries out for joy, Tom tricks Jim's keeper into thinking the cry a trick some witches had played on him. Tom and Huck promise to dig Jim out.

Tom is upset in Chapter Thirty-five. Innocent uncle Phelps has taken so few precautions to guard Jim, they have to invent all the obstacles to his rescue. Tom says they must saw Jim's chain off instead of just lifting it off the bedstead, since that's how it's done in all the books. Similarly, Jim requires a rope ladder, a moat, and a shirt on which to keep a journal, presumably in his own blood. Sawing his leg off to escape would also be a nice touch. But since they're pressed for time, they will dig Jim out with case-knives (large kitchen knives).

Chapters 36-39 Summary

Out late at night, Huck and Tom give up digging with the case-knives after much fruitless efiort. They use pick-axes instead, but agree to "let on"{pretend{that they are using case-knives. The next day, Tom and Huck gather candlesticks, candles, spoons, and a tin plate. Jim can etch a declaration of his captivity on the tin plate using the other objects, then throw it out the window to be read by the world, like in the novels. That night, the two boys dig their way to Jim, who is delighted to see them. He tells them that Sally and Silas have been to visit and pray with him. He doesn't understand the boys' scheme but agrees to go along. Tom thinks the whole thing enormously fun and "intellectural." He tricks Jim's keeper, Nat, into bringing Jim a "witch pie" to help ward off the witches that have haunted Nat.

The missing shirt, candles, sheets, and other articles Huck and Tom stole to give Jim get Aunt Sally mad at everyone but the two boys in Chapter Thirty-seven. To make up, Huck and Tom secretly plug up the holes of the rats that have supposedly stolen everything, confounding Uncle Silas when he goes to do the job. By removing and then replacing sheets and spoons, the two boys so confuse Sally that she loses track of how many she has. It takes a great deal of trouble to put the rope ladder (made of sheets) in the witch's pie, but at last it is finished and they give it to Jim. Tom insists Jim scratch an inscription on the wall of the shed, with his coat of arms, the way the books say. Making the pens from the spoons and candlestick is a great deal of trouble, but they manage. Tom creates an unintentionally humorous coat of arms and set of mournful declarations for Jim to inscribe on the wall. When Tom disapproves of writing on a wooden, rather than a stone wall, they go steal a millstone. Tom then tries to get Jim to take a rattlesnake or rat into the shack to tame, and to grow a ower to water with his tears. Jim protests against the ridiculously unnecessary amount of trouble Tom wants to create. Tom replies that these are opportunities for greatness.

Huck and Tom capture rats and snakes in Chapter Thirty-nine, accidentally infesting the Phelps house with them. Aunt Sally becomes wildly upset when the snakes start to fall from the rafters onto her or her bed. Tom explains that that's just how women are. Jim, meanwhile, hardly has room to move with all the wildlife in his shed. Uncle Silas decides it is time to sell Jim, and starts sending out advertisements. So Tom writes letters, signed an "unknown friend," to the Phelps warning of trouble. The family is terrified. Tom finishes with a longer letter pretending to be from a member of a band of desperate gangsters out to steal Jim. The author has found religion and so is warning them to block the plan.

Chapters 40-43 Summary

Fifteen uneasy local men with guns are in the Phelps's front room. Huck goes to the shed to warn Tom and Jim. Tom is excited to hear about the fifteen armed men. A group of men rush into the shed. In the darkness Tom, Huck, and Jim escape through the hole. Tom makes a noise going over the fence, attracting the attention of the men, who shoot at them as they run. But they make it to the hidden raft, and set off downstream, delighted with their success{especially Tom, who has a bullet in the leg as a souvenir.

Реферат опубликован: 31/07/2007