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Course Hero, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Study Guide," October 27, 2016, accessed December 13, 2017, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Adventures-of-Huckleberry-Finn/.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Chapter 28 | Summary

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Summary

Huck sees Mary Jane crying, and he asks her why. She says it is because the slave family has been split up. After Huck makes a slip of the tongue, he decides to tell Mary Jane the truth. He then instructs her to leave town for the day so he can have time to get away. Huck mentions that someone else's fate—Jim's—hangs in the balance. If Mary Jane were to tell on the duke and the king, she would not be able to pretend she does not know the truth.

Huck sees the sisters, and he tells them Mary Jane left to attend to a sick friend. They ask questions about this and Huck is able to manipulate them into thinking they must keep quiet about the circumstance.

The auction takes place that day. In the middle of the auction two men arrive: Harvey and William Wilks, the real heirs.

Analysis

In this chapter there is further evidence of Huck's growing maturity. He is attracted to and intrigued by Mary Jane. She is the most sympathetic female character in the book. Not only does Huck find her attractive—describing her as beautiful on multiple occasions—but he respects her and says her word is worth more "than another man's kiss-the-Bible." Huck is touched when she says she will pray for him. He says he has thought of her since then "many and a many a million times." While Huck does not act on his attraction, his recognition of Mary Jane is part of his growth.

Mary Jane's concern for the slaves is reminiscent of Huck's concern for Jim. She is distraught at the thought that the slave family has been broken up. In fact, her happiness is dampened by the thought. When speaking to Mary Jane about the plan Huck indirectly mentions Jim. Like her, Huck is worried about the slave's predicament. He has no choice but to stay with the duke and the king for fear of what might happen to Jim.

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