Chapter 27

Sarah, Julia, and Courtney


Huck Finn took the $6,000 from the Duke and the King, in attempt to keep them from scamming Mary Jane and her sisters. Huck Finn had hid the money given to the brothers of Peter Wilks and his daughters. Huck hid the money in the coffin in the middle of the night, in hopes that he would be able to keep the money secure for his intended purpose overnight. Huck Finn was suppose to give the bag of money to the daughters of the deceased Peter Wilks; however, the undertaker was already in the act of sealing up the coffin for the funeral when Huck had planned to get the money out. At the funeral, the dog caught a rat. All seemed well after the funeral, but the “brothers” of Peter Wilks insisted on leaving the day after. Huck Finn’s conscious to tell Mary Jane the truth was overwhelming. He didn’t want to get involved, but he also didn’t want the two men to rob the girls of their fortune.


Huck Finn battles between doing what is right, or doing nothing at all. Huck Finn is fully aware of the capabilities of the Duke and the King, as con artists; however, he tries to prevent scams from occurring in the Wilk’s house. Huck Finn is forced to stick to his morals, rather than accepting what can be prevented. Twain brings in the idea of ethos, and displays the morals of Americans. Americans tend to be bystanders when stuck in the crossroads of doing something to help others because it is the right thing to do. Twain uses Huck Finn to represent Americans. Huck Finn chooses right over wrong, which is exactly what Twain wishes to portray to readers-morality over convenience.

Purpose Behind the Text

The purpose behind the text is to show the fraud and deception that was common in the early 19th century. Carpetbaggers like the Duke and Dauphin often came down the river to the South seeking opportunities to acquire wealth. Another purpose is to show the internal moral conflict that Huck struggled with. The text also revealed how Americans during Reconstruction actively took advantage of others, and they didn’t see them as equals.

How the Purpose is Achieved

“I didn’t know whether the money was in there or not. So, says I, s’pose somebody has hogged that bag on the sly?—now how do I know whether to write to Mary Jane or not?” (Twain 185). Twain is suggesting Huck Finn’s uncertainty through the use of rhetorical questions. The device shows Huck’s initial concern over and well being for others.

“Then in about two second we heard a whack, and the dog he finished up with a most amazing howl or two, and then everything was dead still, and the parson begun his solemn talk where he left off. In a minute or two here comes this under taker’s back and shoulders gliding along the wall again; and so he glided and glided around three sides of the room, and then rose up, and shaded his mouth with his hands, and stretched his neck out towards the preacher, over the people’s heads, and says, in a kind of a coarse whisper, “He had a rat!”(Twain 184).

Twain uses onomatopoeia to draw attention to the distraction in the middle of the funeral.

“Blame it, I says, I might get hunted up and jailed; I’d better lay low and keep dark, and not write at all; the thing’s awful mixed now; trying to better it, I’ve worsened it a hundred times, and I wish to goodness I’d just let it alone, dad fetch the whole business!” (Twain 185). Huck Finn sees the best in society. Twain chooses Huck Finn as the main character to highlight the purpose behind helping others, even if the truth involves yourself. Carefully choosing the people you hang around is essential, because it is essentially choosing who you are or who you want to become.

“I can’t ever get it out of my memory, the sight of them poor miserable girls and niggers hanging around each other’s necks and crying;”(Twain 186). Twain uses imagery to the importance of family and structure in households. After the Civil War, families were left broken, some without father figures or males. There is a connection between the lack of a strong male role in the Wilks’ house and the lack of male roles during Reconstruction. Women were forced to fend for themselves-making a life much different than they were use to. In addition, this quote could also symbolize the South after the Civil War. The North began to boom because of the rapid growth of industries; however, the South was forced to start over, left with many destroyed fields of crops and demolished buildings.

Literary Devices Used

Ethos is used throughout the chapter when talking about Mary Jane and her sisters.

Discussion Questions

Mary Jane and the other girls were very close with their slaves. How does this relate to Huck and Jim’s relationship? How is it different?

What do the girls and their situation symbolize?

What are the different scenarios that could have happened if Huck had not hidden the girls’ money?


"A Crack in the Dining Room Door." Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(Tom Sawyer's Comrade). Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

"Honest Injun." Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(Tom Sawyer's Comrade). Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

"Huck Takes the Money." Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(Tom Sawyer's Comrade). Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

"The Duke Looks Under the Bed." Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(Tom Sawyer's Comrade). Web. 17 Nov. 2015.