The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 43 Summary

Instructor: Wendy A. Garland

Wendy has a Ph.D. in Adult Education and a Master's Degree in Business Management. She has 10 years experience working in higher education.

This lesson will begin with a brief recap of Chapter 42 of ''The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,'' and will then go on to a summary of Chapter 43. In this chapter, Tom repays Jim for his help and kindness, and Huck finds he has nothing more to say.


In Chapter 42 of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom came home on a mattress with the doctor, Jim (in Aunt Sally's dress with his hands tied behind his back), and a crowd of people following them. Tom soon got better and told Aunt Sally the truth about everything. He demanded Jim be freed immediately, because he had been free all along.

Meanwhile, aunt Polly had arrived to sort out the confusion caused by Huck and Tom upon their arrival, when the Phelps family mistook Huck for Tom. Huck then intercepted Tom before he arrived at the Phelps' farm, who decided that he should introduce himself as Sid, as part of a plan to free Jim. Tom also intercepted letters from aunt Polly asking about his arrival, covering up their lies and their secret identities.

Jim is Finally Freed

In Chapter 43, the final chapter of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck finds some time to talk to Tom alone about Jim. Huck wants to know what Tom planned to do if he had been successful in freeing an already free slave. Tom tells Huck that he would have repaid Jim for his cooperation in their adventure, and would have arranged to have a hero's welcome awaiting him back home, including a marching band.

Aunt Polly and the Phelps Family

Aunt Polly arrives just after Tom is brought in on a mattress. She and the Phelps family are especially thankful to Jim for helping the doctor save Tom. They free him from his chains, feed him anything he wants, and give him the royal treatment. Additionally, Tom gives Jim 40 dollars to thank him for his troubles. Jim happily declares that the omen, the sign of things to come, that he told Huck about on Jackson's Island, has come true! His hairy chest has brought him fortune!

Tom Plans More Adventures

Tom, now having fully recovered, wears the bullet from his leg on a chain around his neck. He suggests to Huck that they all three should go on another adventure. He wants to go to what is present-day Oklahoma, called Indian Territory, and run among the Native Americans. Huck says he cannot go because he has no money to even buy clothes. He is sure that by now, Pap, Huck's abusive and drunken father, who showed up just after Huck had come into his fortune, has drunk it all away.

However, Jim tells Huck that his money is safe. Huck asks him how can he be so sure, but Jim does not want to say. Huck pushes him for an explanation, and Jim asks him if he remembers the house that they saw floating on the river after the floods. Huck says he does, and Jim mournfully explains that the body he found in the floating house was Pap, which was why Jim kept Huck from entering and seeing the body.

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