Issues of the Novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” Summary

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Mark Twain writes dialogues in his book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, causing the characters to sound like real people. Twain, however, didn’t make all his characters sound and act the same; instead, they each have a unique voice.

Through the story, the protagonist, Huckleberry Finn, shows his process of learning with the sense of the world throughout the story. One lesson Huck learned and experienced came when he encounters the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons; this part of the story shows Huck how two families, not knowing why they continue to fight, is ironic, but the irony deepens when the families actually draw blood. Twain shows the audience how death and brutality, is present in all facets of society, including the wealthy, and the peace of the river is never more visible to Huck.

Huck grew up without having his parents, and Widow Douglas tries to make Huck her son, but she doesn’t help much with supporting Huck because she and the Widow Douglas “[keep] pecking at [Huck], and it got tiresome and lonesome”. The widow tries to knock some sense into Huck to have him behave better and civilizing him by teaching him about heaven or “the good place” and providing Huck with new clothes.

Pap, Huck’s father, was not present most of his life and “hadn’t been seen for more than a year, and that was comfortable for [Huck]; [he] didn’t want to see him no more”. Pap was also drunk and would spend every money on alcohol. As for Pap, being one of his family members and the widow trying to make Huck her own, Huck was not happy how both of the adult figures treat him.

When he meets the Grangerfords, he thinks this family as, “a mighty nice family, [with] a mighty nice house” and here he finally realizes the importance of what family is. Huck meets the Grangerford family when he finally meets the shore and greets a pack of dogs. The oldest amongst the Grangerfords, Col. Grangerford, make sure Huck is not a Shepardson and later introduces his son, Buck who is about the same age as Huck himself.

Huck goes into describing this high class, the well-bred family is one reader should admire, as far as Huck is concerned, and he gives the reader a detailed description of the Grangerford’s house to prove his point, all high-class belongings, showing that they are rich folk. The Shepardson, as Buck describes, is having a feud with the Grangerfords that “‘There was trouble ‘bout something,…the suit went again one of the men, and so he up and shot the man that won the suit’”(107-108).

When Buck takes Huck in the woods, he experiences death first hand. Huck still doesn’t understand the meaning behind killing each other due to the feud fully. Huck’s casual observance turns into participation when he witnesses the death of his friend, Buck. Huck has trouble retelling the story to readers, “It made me so sick… I ain’t a-going to tell all that happened—it would make me sick again if I was to do that,” and the hateful calls of “Kill them, kill them!” from the Shepardsons made Huck wish that he has never gone ashore, despite his affection for the Grangerfords (114-115).

Towards the end of the novel, Tom, Huck’s mischievous friend who seeks adventure, plans a way to “help” Jim escape. Huck describes Tom as, “without any more pride, or rightness, or feeling than to stoop to this business, and make himself shame, and his family shame, before everybody” after Tom describes his outrageous way to help Jim escape (233). Jim is a runaway slave and has been depending on Huck for his escape to a free state.

Huck than notices how insensitive and inappropriate Tom plans are and Huck “never said nothing, because I wasn’t expecting nothing different” because he already “knew mighty well that whenever he got his plan ready it wouldn’t have none of them objections to it” (232). After Huck’s experience with the Grangerfords, he really shows a stronger bond and a bigger wish to free Jim.

Twain shows the reader how death and brutality, is shown in all different faces of society. Pap is a drunk and benefits nothing good for Huck, and Widow Douglas tries but fails. When he encountered the Grangerfords and witnessed the death of a new friend, he noticed how brutal some people can be. That was when he noticed to appreciate every close person he encounters, especially Jim.


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Issues of the Novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” Summary. (2020, Sep 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/issues-of-the-novel-the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn/

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