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Portrayal of Family in Huckleberry Finn

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Portrayal of Family in Huckleberry Finn

  • September 2008
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Huckleberry Finn provides the narrative voice of Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. Huck’s honest voice combined with his personal vulnerabilities reveal the portrayal of family in the novel. Although many themes and topics can be found in this novel, the topic of family is very important because in the end, Huck’s new family provides peace for the confused, ignorant boy Huck was in the beginning of the novel. Through his travels, Huck accumulates his “floating family”. Through Huck’s adventures, he finds not only people to join his “floating family”, but places that feel like home for Huck as well.

Huck is a kind of natural philosopher, skeptical of social doctrines, and willing to set forth new ideas. However, when it comes to the idea of a family, Huck is ignorant in all ways. Nevertheless, Huck’s adventures throughout the novel present him with opportunities to gain the family that he has secretly wanted all his life because of his lack of compassion from his remaining family. This new discovery to a family begins with Tom Sawyer. Tom Sawyer initiated himself as the decision-maker, with Huck listeing without argument, much like a big brother little brother relationship. “ In the first few chapters of the book, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer are established as foils for each other-characters whose actions and traits contrast each other in a way that gives readers a better understanding of both characters. Due to these contrasts, Tom has established himself as Huck’s older brother. Later on in the book, Huck comes across the Grangerford family. The Grangerford family is a tragic family in a huge predicament similar to Romeo and Juliet. Huck finds himself attached to the family in a way. “Everybody loved to have him (Col. Grangerford) around, too; he was sunshine most always-I mean he made it seem like good weather.” Huck cries over Buck’s body because Huck has begun to think of Buck as a friend as well as a brother. Huck finds the feud that the...

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