How Does Twain Present Pap's Relationship In Huckleberry Finn

889 Words4 Pages
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, was first published in 1884. In this novel, Mark Twain exemplifies life during the early 19th century through the protagonist, Huckleberry Finn, better known as Huck. Twain openly reveals the true hardships of life during slavery. He does so by the abusiveness from a father to having a child going against society’s standards to help a slave. The relationships Huck possesses with the two most influential men in his life differ in goodness and affliction; with Jim, ironically, as his moral influence and Pap, who neglects his son. The corrupt mind and actions of Pap initiate an unfortunate relationship with his son, Huck. Pap, who is an alcoholic, has been gone from Huck’s life for…show more content…
He used to always whale me when he was sober and could get his hands on me” (13). Before Pap even returns, Huck “didn’t want to see him no more.” Huck’s tone emphasizes the abhorrence he feels for Pap because of the painful memories he recalls of his father. Huck recollecting the violent manners of Pap “when he was sober” indicates how little his father cared for him during his youth because a father who beats his child, especially when he is in his right mind, has no love in his body. Not only does Pap physically mistreat Huck, but he also emotionally abuses him, as well. Pap brazenly airs his thoughts to Huck: “You're educated, too, they say; can read and write. You think you're better'n your father, now, don't you, because he can't? I’ll take it out of you. Who told you you might meddle with such hifalut’n foolishness, hey?—who told you you could?”…show more content…
The blithely time Huck and Jim spend on the raft together bring the two closer as friends. They form almost a father-son bond, a bond which Huck misses out on with Pap. While they are on the raft, Huck tricks Jim to think their separation is just a dream. The whole time Huck is missing, Jim is mourning over Huck’s disappearance. So when Jim realizes Huck is pranking him, Jim takes great offence over this. After Jim teaches Huck a lesson as if Jim is his own father, Huck thinks: “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger— but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn’t do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn’t done that one if I’d a knowed it would make him feel that way” (89). Huck feels remorseful for hurting Jim. In this society, slaves are at the bottom of the social class. To have a white person, even someone so low in the social class, feel so contrite and “humble” himself to a slave exemplifies true humility. It is astonishing how the society Huck lives in teaches people that owning a slave and mistreating them is normal, yet he as a child can feel guilt for a harmless prank to a slave. Early on, Huck pranks Jim by putting a dead rattlesnake next to Jim while he is sleeping. Huck wants to prove Jim’s superstition of snakes bringing bad luck wrong. Unfortunately, after Huck’s prank, Jim

More about How Does Twain Present Pap's Relationship In Huckleberry Finn

Open Document