Mark Twain's Flaws

Better Essays
“All modern American Literature comes from Huckleberry Finn.” ~Ernest Hemingway. Mark Twain is quite possibly the father of the American novel. The books he wrote were and still are popular among the rich and the poor alike. He introduced the ‘epic adventure’ style, (like the Iliad and the Odyssey) into American literature. Throughout his long and eventful life, Twain saw many flaws in his society and reflected upon them in his writing. His most popular and criticized novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, emulates these flaws. In the novel Twain criticizes the mind-set of the Gilded Age, shows the lack of compassion in the white society versus that shown in black society and ridicules human greediness.
On one of Huck’s adventures he
…show more content…
Pap is always beating Huck and making him feel bad about himself. The old man does not even care about Huck and sometimes forgets that he locked him in the cabin while he is out drinking. This lack of compassion from Pap towards Huck is also foiled by Jim’s fatherly love towards his children. Huck says “he [is] often moaning and mourning” that he would not get to see his “Po’ little ‘Lizabeth” and “Po’ little Johnny”(154), again. Jim loves his children so much that when he becomes freed, he is going to save enough money to buy his children, and if they’re not for sale then he is going to steal them. A very distinctive attribute about Jim that makes him a better father figure than Pap is he feels great remorse for the one time he acted “ornery” towards his deft daughter and smacked her, whereas Pap has abused Huck countless times and feels no regret for his actions. Jim, a black slave, showing compassion where whites do not further displays the backwardness of Twain’s society. Whites were supposed to be civilized and blacks were supposed to be savages, yet it was the opposite. Jim is a caring, loving and compassionate man and the Gangerfords, Shepherdsons, and Pap are all moral less …show more content…
This ancient Akan proverb is true of the society in Huckleberry Finn. Not only did Twain’s society lack compassion, they also were money hungry and greedy. The King and the Duke are symbolic representations of the human greediness Twain saw in his society. These men will do anything for money and are not afraid to con anyone. They will con a whole town of people; three times with the same con. They are not afraid to con mourning sisters, for their inheritance money. These two are so greedy that they cannot be content with just the will money, but decide to sell all the sister’s rightful property as well: “What! And not sell out the rest o’ the property? March off like a passel of fools and leave eight or nine thousand dollars worth o’ property layin’ around jess sufferen’ to be scooped in?”(177). The worst of all, they con a benefactor¹ to them; they sell Jim in for a reward of just forty dollars after he has treated them like royalty for so long. The tarring and feathering of the King and the Duke in the end is Twain’s way of saying ‘what goes around, comes around’ and these two men deserve it. The two men are great examples of the covetousness that Twain was so disgusted

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    on any given subject. Although many people start to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn thinking that it is a simple novel on a boy's childhood, they soon come to realize that the author, Mark Twain, expresses his opinions on multiple important, political issues. Twain touches on subjects such as slavery, money and greed, society and civilization, and freedom. From the time of its publication, Huckleberry Finn has been distinguished as a novel with prodigious political positions and messages. Throughout…

    • 694 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Huck Finn Paper

    • 840 Words
    • 4 Pages

    An Adventurous Message Mark Twain introduced The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to the world in 1884. The adventures of a rebellious 13-year-old boy, named Huck, captured audiences since its release. Set before the Civil War that viciously broke out during Twain’s lifetime, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn used its witty humor, ironic references, and relatable characters to create a deeper meaning in the book’s plot that has made a place in the hearts of many. Scattered throughout the pages…

    • 840 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck rejects civilized life. Huck despises the rules and standards of society such as, religion, school, and basically anything else that makes him look and feel like everyone else. Throughout the novel, there are many adults that try to civilize Huck but instead of taking their advice, he rather learn for himself. Huck’s hatred for civilization all started with Pap. During most of his childhood, Huck was both physically and mentally abused…

    • 921 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Huck Finn Paper

    • 605 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Christopher Buendia Ms. Daniels English II August 26, 2013 Huckleberry Finn In the novel Mark Twain uses the element of satire to explain various events and actions throughout the novel. Satire is a very common element used in his novels and by other authors but Twains use of it is most discussed. He uses it to describe the hypocrisy of Christianity by most people, also to satirize the idiocy and cruelty of the human society. And finally He uses it to describe a very important event in the novel…

    • 605 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Huck Finn

    • 1117 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Mrs. D English 3 29 January 2014 The south in the 1800’s became a messed up society because of the culture of slavery. The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn portrays a story about a young boy named Huck Finn who is trying to escape society. Huck and Jim go on an adventure for to be enlightened and for freedom. They both want to become free from their homes, and Jim also has to earn money to support his family. Huck Finn runs into many different problems and people that show a variety of symbols that…

    • 1117 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Huck Finn

    • 483 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Characterization Huckleberry Finn, also known as Huck, is a young boy who lives in Mississippi with two women, Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, and their slave, Jim. He’s about 12-years-old and loves adventure. Huck has recently come into some money from his adventures with his friend Tom Sawyer, in which they found some stolen gold in a cave. Huck’s father, Pap Finn, is a dead-beat, abusive drunk who only appears to try to get Huck’s money by kidnapping until…

    • 483 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    huCK fINN

    • 1185 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Huckleberry Finn (Is Huck a strong character or a weak one? Is he a hero or an anti-hero? Is he a victim of circumstance, or does he make his own destiny? Does Huck think for himself, or does he let other people influence him too much?) Huck is the narrator and protagonist in the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He comes out as sympathetic, kind-hearted, and relatable compared to other characters in the book; however, he has to overcome a huge conflict inherent in his society. Arguably, Huck becomes…

    • 1185 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Huck Finn

    • 572 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Huckleberry Finn Essay In Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he develops the plot of the story alongside the adventures of Huck and Jim, the main characters, allowing him to discretely criticize society. The two main characters both run from social injustice and both are distrustful of the civilization around them. Huck is considered an uneducated, backwards boy, constantly under pressure to conform to the "humanized" surroundings of society. An example of social injustice…

    • 572 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Huck Finn

    • 1646 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Mark Twain's, "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," is a tale about a boy in search for a family and a place he can truly call home. Through his adventure, he rids himself of a father that is deemed despicable by society, and he gains a father that society hasn't even deemed as a man. This lonely and depressed young boy only finds true happiness when he is befriended with a slave named Jim. Although Huck Finn was born and raised into a racially oppressive society, it is through his personal growth that…

    • 1646 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Huck Finn

    • 479 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Heroic Huckleberry Finn Many people have the ability to be a heroic figure. Huckleberry Finn, as shown in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is in a constant struggle with his conscience, which qualifies him as a heroic figure. Huck keeps it a secret when he finds out that Jim is a runaway slave. He saves Jim when the steamboat heads straight towards the raft. Huck also helps free Jim from the shed on the Phelps’ property. Huck is in a struggle with his conscience and he qualifies as a heroic figure…

    • 479 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays