Sometimes in literature, authors will use minor characters to highlight important qualities of another character. This approach helps the reader better understand the character since character foiling helps to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Mark Twain uses several character foils, each of which have a different impact on Huck’s moral growth. Throughout the classic American novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck’s friends help to bring out the best of his traits and morals: Buck, Tom and the King and the Duke. ! For example, Tom Sawyer serves as a character foil for Huck Finn. Tom and
Huck’s religious beliefs conﬂict since Tom believes in genies, and Miss Watson tries to teach Huck what she thinks is right. Huck comes to the conclusion Tom doesn’t know what he is talking about; “So then I judged that all the stuff was only just one of Tom Sawyer’s lies” (14). As a result, Tom’s ideas lead Huck to form his own beliefs and challenge the majority of peoples’s way of thinking. Tom also foils Huck at the end of the book when he uses his imagination and knowledge of books to corroborate a plan to free Jim. His unrealistic plan aggravates Huck; “Good land...why, there ain’t no necessity for it” (239). Tom’s foolish childish behavior didn’t bother Huck until now but since Tom is fooling around with Jim’s life and freedom, it makes Huck question his relationship with Tom. Tom’s actions affect Huck is a positive way that help him grow religiously and in maturity.
Just as Tom foiled Huck, Twain uses Buck to do the same
Buck Grangerford’s lifestyle is not similar to Huck’s which highlights the differences in Huck’s up-bringing. Buck’s home life is much different than Huck’s speciﬁcally in regards to Buck having someone to wait on him hand and foot: “My nigger had a monstrous easy time, because I warn’t used to having anybody do anything for me, but Buck’s [slave] was on the jump most of the time” (106). This example shows that Huck is independent...
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