Chapters 41-43 Summary
Huck goes to find a doctor to help Tom. Huck runs into Silas who takes Huck back to his house. The people are marveling at the odd stuff in the shed. They decide it must have been a band of skilled robbers that stole Jim. Sally won't let Huck out to go and find Tom who she thinks is dead. Huck is touched by her concern for him. Silas can't find Tom and he eventually gives up. Later he is drug in only half conscious and Jim is brought in in chains. The people of the town want to hang Jim but are afraid they will upset his master. The doctor Huck sent for Tom tells the people of the town that Jim risked his freedom to help Tom, and the townspeople start treating him less roughly. Tom's Aunt Polly comes to pick up Tom. She then chastises Tom and Huck for their adventures after recognizing Tom. The boys find out that Jim is free because Miss Watson died. Tom wants to repay Jim for his help and send him back to their home town a hero. Tom gets better, and he and Huck discuss their next adventure. Huck says that his dad probably already stole all of his money, but Tom tells him that Huck's dad is dead. Then we find out this entire story was Huck writing a book. Huck says that he wants to go west to avoid Aunt Sally's attempts to civilize him.
I thought that it was an odd choice for the Huck to find out that Jim was already free. I think that it changes the way you think about the entire book to look back and know that Jim wasn't at risk of being caught. All of the large schemes and lies that Huck told were for naught. It almost speaks of the futility of any person's actions, and reminds me of the Caucus races in Alice and Wonderland. I also found it odd to think of the whole story being written by Huck. It makes you wonder how accurate his story was, and when you look back you wonder if things were being exagerrated when he wrote them down. I'm happy to be done with this book, but I enjoyed reading it. I think that it is my favorite story that we have read in English so far this year, and it is definitely 1,000 times better than the Odyssey.