The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Study Guide

Mark Twain

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Course Hero, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Study Guide," May 17, 2017, accessed September 23, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Adventures-of-Tom-Sawyer/.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Chapter 30 | Summary

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Summary

The following day Huck returns and is welcomed warmly by the Welchman. He tells Huck about what happened, that the criminals escaped but also that the Widow Douglas is safe. The sons go to see the sheriff, and Huck tells the Welchman what he knows. In doing so he slips and reveals more than he intended; when confronted, Huck admits that the old Spaniard is Injun Joe. The Welchman offers Huck food and rest, which he accepts. He's still there when visitors begin to arrive. He hides. While in hiding he overhears a conversation in which Aunt Polly and Mrs. Thatcher realize that both Tom and Becky are missing. In the following discussion it is revealed that they are likely still in the cave. A search ensues, and the robbers are temporarily forgotten.

When the Welchman returns to his house, he finds Huck fallen ill with a fever. Widow Douglas volunteers to look after him.

Analysis

Huck's concern for Widow Douglas brings him back even though it means he risks exposure. In fact this is a close parallel to Tom's actions when he returns from the island to quell Aunt Polly's concern. Widow Douglas also cares for Huck in his illness, as Aunt Polly did for Tom. The reader can hope that the widow uses something more efficient than quack remedies.

At this point the reader can surmise that the widow knows of Huck's involvement, that she suspects it because he's at the Welchman's house, or that this is simply an extension of the previous times she was kind to Huck. The novel does not clarify. What is clear, however, is that Huck is unable to join in the attempts to rescue Tom and Becky. Huck's own good deeds and his illness remove him from the action. The resolution of the dilemma with Injun Joe is solely in Tom's domain now.

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