Chapters 23, 24 and 25
first show has a full house but when the audience realizes that
they have been conned, they are furious. Just as they about to rush
the stage, someone in the audience reminds that they will be the
laughing stock of the town if the others find out that were tricked.
They decide that the only way to save face3 would be to not say
or do anything so that others in the town would be in the same situation.
Everyone agrees and no violence is done to the Duke and the Dauphin.
The following two nights follow the same pattern, except that on
the third night the men do not appear on stage for fear that since
this was the final performance, the town 's people would try to
get their revenge. Instead they run back to the raft, getting away
with over four hundred dollars for the three 'performances."
Jim is shocked that their royal guests are just rascals.
The most important part of the chapter, however, is a conversation
between Huck and Jim, when Huck realizes that Jim severely misses
his family. This causes Huck to admit, "I do believe he cared just
as much for his people as white folks does for their'n." Thus, Huck
continues to realize that Jim is as much a person as anyone else.
Before reaching the next town, the Duke decides to make a grand
entrance there and he and Huck board a steamboat docked several
miles above the town.
Meeting a fellow traveler, the king starts up a conversation with
the man, finding out that the town is anticipating the arrival of
the English brothers of Peter Wilks, a wealthy landowner who has
recently died and thus has quite a sizable inheritance to give to
his relatives. The Duke seizes this opportunity, and after leaving
the man who possessed such valuable information, asks for directions
to the Wilks' home.
They arrive at the house, pretending to be the brothers of the deceased,
and they seem to fool everyone in the town. The Duke gives a speech,
where he even brings himself to tears over the apparent death of
his brother. One man, however, the family physician, doesn't believe
that these men are genuine, but tells the town that they must be
frauds. Their English accents, for one, don't seem quite authentic
to his trained ear. Luckily for the Duke, however, the town doesn't
believe the doctor, but rallies behind them instead.
So far, Huck has been in turmoil concerning the understood behavior towards
blacks that they are inferior, and they were designed to be slaves for the white community against which is his own observations to the character and behavior in Jim.
It is clear that Jim misses his family and loves them just as much as white people love their families. Jim also demonstrates real humanity and is becoming the most sympathetic character in the story.
Huck is slowly breaking away from society’s unwritten rules and more and
more making up his own rules of right and wrong.
Twain again illustrates how easy the rural southerners can be duped and it
seems effortless for Duke and the Dauphin to perpetrate a fraud on the Wilks sisters. They, of course, want to have caring and honest uncles who will take them to England and provide for them a secure life.
Most of the town, therefore, goes along with this farce because there is no
strong proof against them. Although Huck knows that the Duke and Dauphin are not real royalty, he seems content to go along with the scheme, placating Jim with the fact that throughout history royalty were
always carrying out dubious acts. Huck’s knowledge of history is humorous, especially his story about Henry VIII. Again this is Twain’s way of having a go at the upper class aristocracy and royalty.