Pap's Effect on Huck in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

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When a man becomes worthless in one’s eyes, one begins to loathe all morals and ideas that man has ever demonstrated. In Mark Twain’s classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the main character, Huck Finn, is greatly influenced by his jaded father, Pap Finn. Through Pap’s actions he becomes worthless in the eyes of young Huck. Twain uses Pap’s abusive and absurd behavior to emphasize Huck’s desison making in his transition into adulthood, and to show hope for Huck’s future.

Youth, hope, and change are all the things that Huck represents and Pap is against. Pap is what one would consider a resentful alcoholic who doesn’t believe in change of any kind. Huck is merely a child, trying to find his place in the world and form his own morals and views on life. Huck always is imaginative an likes to create make believe worlds in which everything is so interesting. Pap is like the harsh sence of reality that shows Huck a taste of the real world in contrast to his own wonderful fantasies.

Huck says “Mornings, before daylight, I slipped into corn fields and borrowed a watermelon, or a mushmelon, or a punkin, or some new corn, or things of that kind. Pap always said it warn't no harm to borrow things, if you was meaning to pay them back, sometime; but the widow said it warn't anything but a soft name for stealing, and no decent body would do it."(77) Pap, in telling Huck it was okay to steal, is forcing Huck to have to differentiate between right and wrong, something that Huck has never cared about before.

Pap, being the stubborn selfish man he is, puts his needs before the needs of his own son. He buys alcohol with Huck’s money. Huck says “I borrowed three dollars from Judge Thatcher, and Pap took it and got drunk and went a-blowing around and cussing and whooping and carrying on” (26). Before this Huck was hesitant to give Pap the money because he knew what consequences would arise. Pap helps Huck mature in this way because Huck is forced to think of what...
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