Huckleberry Finn Analysis
In the novel written by Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the author’s straightforward characters and sometimes stereotypical portraits, illustrate Twain’s attempt to ridicule society through satire. Through the voices of his characters, Twain denounces and criticizes society with the intention of adjusting them. The author carefully identifies the condemning aspects of his surrounding community, and consequently applies these same features to the characters personae to then ridicule the former.
At the outset, this is made apparent, with the of figure pap, who appears as Huck’s abusive and alcoholic father, whose intentions seems to be the extortion of his sons money. Although it might seem as if Twain’s requirement for pap was only in the interest to create a reason for Huck’s escape, the authors real intentions was to satirize the indescribable horrors suffered by many children. Furthermore pap serves as a contrast to Jim, who throughout the novel has overtaken pap’s place as a father figure. This is done to portray how a black slave ironically serves as a better father then Huck’s own racist biological father. Jim slightly resembles a heroic figure who, as many heroes, has come out of the dark depths of slavery and has become a loyal companion willing to sacrifice his own physical freedom for Huck’s mental liberation from the oppression of society. Twain presents the two characters with similar characteristics. Both are illiterate, what differentiates them is that while Jim’s poverty is caused by a white slave owner’s enslavement, pap’s misery is only due to himself and his sluggish ways. Moreover while Jim can blame his misfortunes on slavery, Pap not having a rational reason for his poverty, blames the “niggers” as referred by him. The purpose of these strong similitudes between the two characters but also their evident differences, are illustrated by Twain with a satirical point of view but also with the intent of representing a realistic vision of the ignorance and the preconception of many people towards the matter of slavery during that time. Successively, Twain, to once more denounce another wrong in society, creates the characters of the King and Duke. Their purpose is to serve as an example of the unfulfilling lifestyle of swindling and the consequences that might come after. They represent all men who have made their livings in a dishonest and ungrateful way, essentially stealing the money from the pockets of others. Succeeding various cons the two swindlers reach their climax when they impersonate as distant relatives of the wealthy Wilk’s family. Twain builds this scenario to once again portray these characters in a negative light. Even after the initial amount of money which is granted to them by the targeted family, the two con artist decide to stay to find a way to gain even more. Their greedy souls will be betrayed by the ethic morals of our main character Huck. Soon the two characters are