In Chapter XXXIII of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom explains "ransom" to Huck. But in Chapter II of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom has no idea what ransoming is. Is this just Twain forgetting what his character knew? Or perhaps Twain is breaking continuity to be able to include the humor/satire of the ransom discussion?

  • Or it's kids being humans and forgetting naturally. After all, Tom remembered "ransoming", he just didn't remember what it involved.
    – muru
    Jul 29 '18 at 14:26
  • @muru: Tom explains ransom (the noun) and ransom (the verb) to Huck in detail just before discovering the treasure. It's true that in the next book Tom remembers that captives can be ransomed, but for both characters to forget exactly what "ransomed" means, especially that it involves money, seems a bit of a stretch.
    – joe snyder
    Jul 29 '18 at 16:12
  • @joesnyder not to me. These are kids with full lives with a pretty big upheaval in between the two stories. It's not surprising that Huck doesn't remember one particular item of presumably any number of such things that Tom has explained to him, especially something that was told to him shortly before a major excitement.
    – muru
    Jul 29 '18 at 16:48

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