Try our new chrome extension - Lumos Readability Assistant

Huckleberry Finn (Excerpt)

- By Mark Twain
Font Size
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),[1] known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the "greatest humorist the United States has produced,"[2] and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature".[3] His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884),[4] the latter often called "The Great American Novel". Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He served an apprenticeship with a printer and then worked as a typesetter, contributing articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise.[5] His humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", was published in 1865, based on a story that he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention and was even translated into French.[6] His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
 
 
In this excerpt from Chapter Five, Huck’s father arrives unexpectedly.
I HAD shut the door to. Then I turned around and there he was. I used to be scared of him all the time, he beat me so much. I reckoned I was scared now, too; but in a minute I see I was mistaken -- that is, after the first jolt, as you may say, when my breath sort of hitched, he being so unexpected; but right away after I see I warn't scared of him worth bothring about.
He was most fifty, and he looked it. His hair was long and tangled and greasy, and hung down, and you could see his eyes shining through like he was behind vines. It was all black, no gray; so was his long, mixed-up whiskers. There warn't no color in his face, where his face showed; it was white; not like another man's white, but a white to make a body sick, a white to make a body's flesh crawl -- a tree-toad white, a fish-belly white. As for his clothes -- just rags, that was all. He had one ankle resting on t'other knee; the boot on that foot was busted, and two of his toes stuck through, and he worked them now and then. His hat was laying on the floor -- an old black slouch with the top caved in, like a lid.
I stood a-looking at him; he set there a-looking at me, with his chair tilted back a little. I set the candle down. I noticed the window was up; so he had climbed in by the shed. He kept a-looking me all over. By and by he says:
"Starchy clothes -- very. You think you're a good deal of a big-bug, don't you?"
"Maybe I am, maybe I ain't," I says.
"Don't you give me none o' your lip," says he. "You've put on considerable many frills since I been away. I'll take you down a peg before I get done with you. You're educated, too, they say -- can read and write. You think you're better'n your father, now, don't you, because he can't? I'll take it out of you. Who told you you might meddle with such hifalut'n foolishness, hey? -- who told you you could?"
"The widow. She told me."
"The widow, hey? -- and who told the widow she could put in her shovel about a thing that ain't none of her business?"
"Nobody never told her."
"Well, I'll learn her how to meddle. And looky here -- you drop that school, you hear? I'll learn people to bring up a boy to put on airs over his own father and let on to be better'n what he is. You lemme catch you fooling around that school again, you hear? Your mother couldn't read, and she couldn't write, nuther, before she died. None of the family couldn't before they died. can't; and here you're a-swelling yourself up like this. I ain't the man to stand it -- you hear? Say, lemme hear you read."
I took up a book and begun something about General Washington and the wars. When I'd read about a half a minute, he fetched the book a whack with his hand and knocked it across the house. He says:
"It's so. You can do it. I had my doubts when you told me. Now looky here; you stop that putting on frills. I won't have it. I'll lay for you, my smarty; and if I catch you about that school I'll tan you good. First you know you'll get religion, too. I never see such a son.
He took up a little blue and yaller picture of some cows and a boy, and says:
"What's this?"
"It's something they give me for learning my lessons good."
He tore it up, and says:
"I'll give you something better -- I'll give you a cowhide.
He set there mumbling for a minute, and then he says:
"Ain't you a sweet-scented dandy, though? A bed; and bedclothes; and a look'n'-glass; and a piece of carpet on the floor -- and your own father got to sleep with the hogs in the tanyard. I never see such a son. I bet I'll take some o' these frills out o' you before I'm done with you. Why, there ain't no end to your airs -- they say you're rich. Hey? -- how's that?"
"They lie -- that's how."
"Looky here -- mind how you talk to me; I'm a-standing about all I can stand now -- so don't gimme no sass. I've been in town two days, and I hain't heard nothing but about you bein' rich. I heard about it away down the river, too. That's why I come. You git me that money to-morrow -- I want it."
"I hain't got no money."
"It's a lie. Judge Thatcher's got it. You git it. I want it."
"I hain't got no money, I tell you. You ask Judge Thatcher; he'll tell you the same."
"All right. I'll ask him; and I'll make him pungle, too, or I'll know the reason why. Say, how much you got in your pocket? I want it."
"I hain't got only a dollar, and I want that to -- "
"It don't make no difference what you want it for -- you just shell it out."

Current Page: 1

GRADE:4

Ratings & Comments

Rate this Passage?
0

0 Ratings & 0 Reviews

5
0
0
4
0
0
3
0
0
2
0
0
1
0
0
Questions and Answers Huckleberry Finn (Excerpt)

Please wait while we generate questions and answers...

Word Lists:

Frill : a strip of gathered or pleated material sewn by one side onto a garment or larger piece of material as a decorative edging or ornament.

Scared : fearful; frightened

Meddle : interfere in or busy oneself unduly with something that is not one's concern

Excerpt : a short extract from a film, broadcast, or piece of music or writing.

Slouch : stand, move, or sit in a lazy, drooping way

Jolt : push or shake (someone or something) abruptly and roughly

Dandy : a man unduly devoted to style, neatness, and fashion in dress and appearance.

Hitch : move (something) into a different position with a jerk

Tangled : twisted together untidily; matted

More...

Additional Information:

Rating: A

Words: 999

Unique Words : 326

Sentences : 103

Reading Time : 4:26

Noun : 384

Conjunction : 76

Adverb : 69

Interjection : 8

Adjective : 47

Pronoun : 207

Verb : 140

Preposition : 63

Letter Count : 3,495

Sentiment : Positive / Positive / Positive

Tone : Conversational

Difficult Words : 124

EdSearch WebSearch