Huckleberry Finn Essay

Submitted By dinoshepard
Words: 1186
Pages: 5

Cluff 1
Duncan Cluff
Ms. Arora
English 11B(H), Period 5
April 7, 2013
To the Glory of Those Who Do To the average person, a book is an escape, merely a story to get lost in. Yet it can be so much more if you can but look deeper to the writer’s intents, whether conscious or not. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is the tale of how a young boy in the rural South breaks free from his abusive father, and consequentially, everything else he has ever known. With just a runaway slave as a companion, Huckleberry’s story is bursting with Twain’s true thoughts and criticisms of society seen through his eyes. Through symbolic characters, Mark Twain criticizes the hypocrisy and corruption of human society, and uses Huckleberry Finn himself as a way to show that we can rise above, even if it means going up against everything you have ever known. Twain uses many characters throughout his book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which represent how low our society has sunk in its moral standing. Among the first and cruelest of these living symbols is Huck’s own father, Pap. Fearing the wrath and greed of Pap, Huck hands his fortune over to Judge Thatcher in an attempt to draw his father away from him. Undaunted, he is then kidnapped by Pap, who holds him in a remote cabin in the woods. One of the worst disgraces of any society is an abusive parent, and such issues can only be magnified by alcohol and money problems, both of which Pap holds dear. “After supper pap took the jug, and said he had enough whiskey there for
Cluff 2 two drunks and one delirium tremens… He chased me round and round the place with a clasp-knife, calling me the Angel of Death, and saying he would kill me, and then I couldn’t come for him no more” (28-29). The traditional role of the father, in almost any society, is to provide for and protect his family. Pap, being the selfish, ridiculous drunk he is, sees Huck as only a piece of property that will pay for itself, and more, sooner or later. This is what causes pap to go to great effort to drag Huck away from the influences of any who would seek to set Huck free. This can represent issues in modern society, where the traditional roles in any organization, even the family, are challenge for any and every reason by those who think they know better, yet always end up looking the fool. One such example occurring today is the issue on gay marriage, which while those advocating it say things such as, “Equality for all”, they are really looking for personal gain, trying to get social approval for something that quite literally goes against the laws of nature. Yet any who stand up for the old way of thinking is accused of being intolerant or stuck in the past. Such issues can only bring down a nation such as ours, and though an organization can look stable from the outside, it can be rotting from within, dying from the inside by a cancer introduced by individuals who think only of themselves. Representing the corruption of royalty, and as an extension, government itself, are two conmen running rampant through Twain’s story, their names tying them to Twain’s disgust at how those in power abuse that power, as well as those under them. Named the Duke and the King, these conmen use any and every chance they get to swindle those they come across, even using religion to manipulate innocents. “When we got back to the raft and he come to count up he found he had collected eighty-seven dollars and seventy-
Cluff 3 five cents. And then he had fetched away a three-gallon jug of whisky, too, that he found under a wagon when he was starting home through the woods. The king said, take it all around, it laid over any day he'd ever put in in the missionarying line. He said it warn't no use talking, heathens don't amount to shucks alongside of pirates to work a camp-meeting with” (133). Not only are the King and the Duke symbols of abusive rulers, but of any who abuse the power given to them. Masquerading as a