Throughout the tale of Huckleberry Finn, almost every character tells tall tales. There are characters who lie for survival, those who lie for mere amusement, and those who lie to gain fame and materials. However, it is the motivation for the lies that defines their character. .
Elaborate tales were also used in the novel as a way for the characters to protect themselves and others. In one example of this, Huck decided to go ashore and find out what was going on in the town, and he saw a woman that he believed would help him. Huck dressed as a girl and pretended that his name was â€œSarah Williamsâ€ and said that his â€œmother [was] down sick, and out of money and everything, and [he] [come] to tell [his] Uncle Abner Mooreâ€ (56). By telling this tall tale, Huck found out that her husband was going to the island that night with a gun to find Jim. Even though he was caught in the first lie of being a girl, Huck managed to convince Mrs. Loftus that he was a runaway. Huck learned crucial information that he would have never gotten through honesty, and with this information he was able to continue on his journey with Jim. He cared about Jim, and in his heart did not want him to go back to being â€œownedâ€. After Huck and Jim stole the robbersâ€™ boat, found their raft, and went ashore, Huck told a ferry watchman that â€œPap and mam and sis and Miss Hookerâ€¦ [were] in an awful peck of troubleâ€ (73). Huck could not tell the watchman the truth because he had stolen the robbersâ€™ boat to save Jim and himself. Also, Jim would have been in danger of being captured, and the watchman would not have wanted to go and save a bunch of murderers. Instead, Huck created a story of a woman in distress and reward money. Huck knew that in doing this he was helping robbers, but he still felt that it was the right thing to do because he stole their means of escape.