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Characters Of Huckleberry Finn Essay, Research Paper

Main Characters

Huckleberry Finn

Huck is the narrator of the story and for the most part is honest to us the readers. He dreads the rules and conformities of society such as religion, school, and anything else that will eventually make him civilized. A big debate surrounds Huck on whether he changes or not throughout the novel. Huck, in the beginning, seems very set in the south’s anti-black ways, however, Huck states that he will go to hell to keep Jim out of slavery. At this point it seems like he does change, however, at the end of the book, Huck plays yet another practical joke on Jim, and seems as though any change was temporary.

Huck in the book has little sense of humor which is ironic considering the book is satirical. Twain has also been criticized about Huck’s character, in that it seems as though Huck knows to much for his age. In one of the movies, Huck was about 17, in another he was about 8, I figure from the book that Huck is probably around 12, maybe 13. Other traits of Huck show that he is sensible, trustworthy, tricky, deceiving, realist, yet imaginative.


Jim starts off the book as the Widow Watson’s slave, however, because she is going to sell Jim off, he decides to run away. In an ironic twist, Jim meets Huck Finn, who Jim is charged with murdering. Twain has been criticize for making Jim to stereotypical in the sense that Jim is easily tricked by Tom and Huck. Jim is extremely superstitious, very dependable, very trusting of Huck, strong, and hopeful.

Secondary Characters

Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer is Huck’s best friend. Tom is very chivalrous with many romantic ideals, however, Tom has conformed to society. Tom has a large influence on Huck, as can be seen in most of the practical jokes that are played on Jim. In comparison to Huck, Tom is the Idealist while Huck is the realist.


Pap is Huck’s usually drunk father. His abusive nature is the driving force for Huck as he flees down the river. Pap himself is illiterate, nonconforming, and oppressive.

Miss Watson

Miss Watson is Huck’s guardian in the book. She represents everything in society that Huck hates, and that means conforming. She is very strict with Huck, forcing him to go to school, forcing her religion onto him, and making him quit his cursory smoking. Unfortunately for Miss Watson, it requires her death to allow Twain to set Jim free at the end, and have a happy ending.


The Duke of Bridgewater is the double-handed, sneaky, low-down, con-man partner of the Dauphin. The Duke got his name by tricking Huck into thinking that he has had a bad turn of events of his life that has made he, a natural born duke, lose everything he had. He and the Dauphin use Huck in many of their con jobs, and even sell Jim into slavery.


The Dauphin is the Duke’s equally sneaky partner. He tricked Huck into thinking that he was exiled King of France.

Aunt Sally

Aunt Sally is Tom Sawyer’s aunt who mistakes Huck for Tom. She is married to Silas Phelps who was holding Jim captive for run-away slave money. She also wants to adopt Huck and the end of the novel.

Everyone Else

Aunt Polly: One of Huck’s guardians. She is Huck’s favorite of the three.

Widow Douglas: Hucks other guardian. She is strongly religious, however, is not as oppressive as her sister Miss Watson.

Judge Thatcher: The Judge holds Hucks money for him. He also tried to reform Pap, which he gave Pap a new coat, however, Pap just sold it for whiskey.

Jo Harper, Ben Rogers, Tommy Barnes: More of Tom and Huck’s friends. Just small bit parts for these guys.

Jake Packard, Jim Turner, and Bill: These are the three individuals whom Huck trapped on a sinking boat. Bill was the third accomplice in which the other two were turning on.

Mrs. Loftus: This is the lady which figures out Huck’s design.

The Watchman: Huck fetches this guy to try and save Jake, Jim, and Bill.

“Old man Grangerford: He is the father of the Grangerford and is very honorable.

Buck Grangerford: This is the son of Mr. Grangerford. He befriends Huck and set’s fire to the feud by shooting at a Shepardson from behind a bush.

Sophia Grangerford: She starts the final day of the feud by falling in love and running off with one of the Shepardsons.

Emmeline Grangerford: The dead daughter of the Grangerfords, whose art and poetry skills are worshipped by her parents despite total lack of ability.

The Shepardsons: The rivals of the Grangerfords.

Boggs: The man Colonel Sherburn kills because of his drunkenness.

Colonel Sherburn: Gets away with killing Boggs by yelling at the lynch mob who was coming after him.

Buck Harkness: The leader of the lynch mob coming after the Colonel.

Mary Jane, Susan, and Joanna Wilks: The three nieces of Peter Wilks. Mary is the oldest, Joanna has a hare-lip. All three are very nice, the youngest, Joanna, nearly figures out the Duke and Dauphin’s plan by questioning Huck.

William, Harvey and Peter Wilks: These are the three brothers, Peter has died, and the Duke and Dauphin are portraying William and Harvey. Wiilliam is mute.

Dr. Robinson & Levi Bell: They attempt to convince the Wilks of the Duke and Dauphin’s true identities.

Silas Phelps: He is Tom Sawyer’s uncle, and has gained possession of Jim from the Duke and Dauphin.

Mark Twain: He is the author of the book, and according to Huck, related through his writings, “he told the truth, mainly. There were things that he stretched”.


You and Me (The reader): We the reader play a small part to, as Huck does acknowledge us from time to time, that’s awful nice of him.

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