Huckleberry Finn Nature Vs Nurture Essay

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Ah, the classic question of nature vs. nurture, one that my family has so much experience with, nature being the qualities a person was born with, nurture being the way a person was raised, taught, or changed by an experience. My grandfather is a horse breeder. He devotes his life trying to match a certain nature from one horse and a certain nature from another to breed a horse that has a specific nature, whether it is to be able to run long or short distances or on a turf or dirt track. Even if a horse is bred to have a certain nature, it may never reach its full potential if it not raised and nurtured in the right home. It is interesting to try and apply this knowledge to try and understand Mark Twain’s views about the influence of nature versus the influence of nurture. Twain’s Huckleberry Finn contrasts the influence of nature and the influence of nurture through some of Huckleberry Finn’s parental figures, such as Widow Douglas, the judge, Pap, and Jim, but the nurturing influence comes out victorious. Widow Douglas, a widow…show more content…
“He said courts mustn’t interfere and separate families” (16). This is what the judge originally told Widow Douglas and Judge Thatcher when they came to take custody of Huck away from Pap. The judge has never experienced Pap, therefore; he does not know what he is like. After the judge realizes who Pap really is, he states “he reckoned a body could reform the ole man with a shot-gun, maybe, but he didn’t know no other way” (17). The judge does not think Pap had any chance of changing his behavior after what he has seen. The judge’s decision to not believe in Pap’s reformation was based on pap’s nature, and the judge’s influence of nurture shows through as well. The judge’s influence of his nature, to not split up a family, was trumped by the influence of his nurture, which is what he learned/s from experience/s. This corresponds to Pap and how the judge sees him as

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