In this chapter, Huck and Jim spend multiple days sailing down the Mississippi River. They make sure to stay hidden by floating during the night, and hiding offshore during the daylight. When they make it to St. Louis, Missouri, Huck and Jim spend some time stealing items and food from the city whenever they need it. During the night, Huck and Jim find a wrecked boat, and channelling his inner Tom Sawyer, Huck goes to look around and have an adventure. He gets on the boat and has to hide to avoid being seen by robbers he hears. They are planning on drowning a victim to keep something a secret. Huck gets back to Jim and wants to cut the robbers' boat loose to keep the robbers from murdering the man. Jim also tells Huck that the raft they had been sailing on had acidentall drifted away.
In this chapter, Huck and Jim act on their plan to keep the robbers from murdering the man. They stakeout the robbers' boat, and when they go to the shipwreck to talk to their victim, Huck and Jim hop on their boat and sail away. They drift and find their missing raft. Huck starts feeling guilty about leaving the robbers/murderers there because he might become a murderer himself one day. He wants to go back not to make sure they're dead, but to make sure they're alive. While drifting, Huck and Jim also come across a ferry. Huck makes up a story about how his family was left on the boat wreck and they need a way to find it. He tells this to the captain of the ferry to try to get back to shore. When they get back, they see that the robbers didn't survive.
In chapter 14, Huck and Jim decide to raid the robbers' boat, since they are indeed dead. On the boat, they find items including clothes, cigars, and books. Huck reads the books to Jim, along with some of his own made up stories. Some of the stories they talk about are rumors, and Huck mentions how he's heard that Louis XVI's son is hiding somewhere in America, but Jim doesn't believe him. The stories remind him of Huck's adventures back home with Tom Sawyer and all of their friends. Jim talk about how he doesn't like adventures since they are dangerous, and he would like to keep his life.
What does Huck's insistence on boarding the wrecked steamboat tell us about Huck?
Huck is very persistent in geting Jim to agree on boarding the wrecked steamboat to look around it. This shows how Huck is a very adventurous person. He will jump at the opportunity to make an adventure and a future story out of something. It also shows that he knows what he wants. He wants to get on the steamboat to look around and possibly raid it, and keeps on mentioning it until he gets it.
Why does Huck stop and try to save the murderers, and how does this reflect on his character?
Huck tries to stop and save the murderers because he thinks he might become a murderer someday. He wouldn't want his own future life of crime ended by a boy who wants an end to criminals, so he decides to go back and save them. This shows how deep down, Huck is a very good person. Even though they are robbers, he still tries to save them.
What is the name of the steamboat? Why do you think Twain might have given her that name?
The wrecked steamboat was named Walter Scott, which was the name of a Scottish author of the Romantic time period. I think that Twain name the steamboat this because it was a name people would recognize. He then wrecked the boat because historically, Twain disliked Scott's works. He thought they were superficial, and used the wrecking of the ship to show his dislike towards Scott and is works.
I think it's interesting how much of a mind change Huck has regarding the robbers. At first, he is all about killing them so they don't keep killing people, but his mind changes to try and save them. Even though they are criminals, he wants to keep them alive. It's amazing how a view on such a big conflict can change so quickly. It shows that when you act too early without thinking something through all the way, you could make a decision you regret later.