The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chapter 32 - Summary & Analysis

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SUMMARY
      As Huck reaches the Phelps' farm, he finds it a hot, sunny and a lazy day. Everything around is extremely quiet and quite morose. Huck doesn't ike the ambience and finds it depressing. Suddenly, he is surrounded by a number of ferocious dogs that corner him. As he stands still, a nigger Oman comes to help him and drive the dogs away. A middle-aged woman, who greets Huck as if she were expecting him, follows her. She gets extremely emotional on seeing Huck and sheds tears of joy. She mistakes him for Tom Sawyer, her sister's son, and makes an observation that he doesn't look as much like his mother as she had visualized. Nevertheless, she extends a very warm welcome. Huck, realizing that he is expected to have come in a steamboat, cooks up a story for being late and says that they "blowed out a cylinder head" When Aunt Sally voices her concern for the safety of the passengers, Huck assures her that no person was hurt in the accident. Only a nigger was killed.

      Following this, Aunt Sally starts asking Huck questions about his family and wants to know how her sister is doing. She sets her chores down and demands to know each and every detail from Huck. Huck becomes anxious and is petrified of giving himself away when Silas Phelps, the lady's husband, returns. Moreover, Huck doesn't know who he himself is in the present scheme of things.

      Uncle Silas, who had gone to receive Tom Sawyer, returns without him. His wife pretends that Tom hasn't come home and that makes the old man extremely anxious. She suggests that he may have missed him along the road. After playing a few pranks with her husband, his wife introduces Huck as Tom Sawyer. Uncle Silas is mighty pleased as well as relieved to know that Tom' is safe. He shakes hands with him. The whole family exhibits its happiness.

      Huck is mighty pleased to know his identity in the eyes of his hosts and he starts acting accordingly. He chatters no end about the Sawyer family and starts feeling very comfortable. Suddenly, he hears the sound of a steamboat and realizes that the real Tom Sawyer may come in any moment. To avoid trouble, he decides to go down the road and lay in wait for Tom so that he can confide in the latter and avoid any more trouble.

Huck is not religious, in the conventional sense. Unlike Miss Watson and other "Christian" characters in the novel, he doesn't think much of the codes of Christian morality as propounded by society. But he does have faith in God. When he is with Aunt Silas, he is very wary of what to say because he has no idea who the lady imagines him to be. He trusts Providence to "put the right word" in his mouth. He does believe that whenever he has been in trouble, "Providence always did put the rig words" in his mouth.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS
      Huck is not religious, in the conventional sense. Unlike Miss Watson and other "Christian" characters in the novel, he doesn't think much of the codes of Christian morality as propounded by society. But he does have faith in God. When he is with Aunt Silas, he is very wary of what to say because he has no idea who the lady imagines him to be. He trusts Providence to "put the right word" in his mouth. He does believe that whenever he has been in trouble, "Providence always did put the rig words" in his mouth.

      Huck's reference to the "accident" brings to light another facet of Aunt Sally and Huck's mind. For both of them, as members ot the pa CTV War Mississippi Valley, "niggers" are not worthy of interest as people. She is relieved that, though the accident killed a nigger, no "people" were hurt. Though Huck has great affection for Jim and would do anything to save nim, is attitude towards the "nigger" community, in general, is still governed by society's perception of them. Huck's description of the Phelps' farm is reminiscent of his maternal Uncle, John Quarles farm in Florida. This is another autobiographical element in the novel.

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