Twains Huck Finn Essay Research Paper Huckleberry

Twains Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper Huckleberry Finn provides the narrative voice of Mark Twain?s novel, and his honest voice combined with his personal

Twains Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper

Huckleberry Finn provides the narrative voice of Mark Twain?s novel, and his honest voice combined with his personal

vulnerabilities reveal the different levels of the Grangerfords? world. Huck is without a family: neither the drunken attention of

Pap nor the pious ministrations of Widow Douglas were desirable allegiance. He stumbles upon the Grangerfords in

darkness, lost from Jim and the raft. The family, after some initial cross-examination, welcomes, feeds and rooms Huck with

an amiable boy his age. With the light of the next morning, Huck estimates “it was a mighty nice family, and a mighty nice

house, too”(110). This is the first of many compliments Huck bestows on the Grangerfords and their possessions. Huck is

impressed by all of the Grangerfords? belongings and liberally offers compliments. The books are piled on the table

“perfectly exact”(111), the table had a cover made from “beautiful oilcloth”(111), and a book was filled with “beautiful stuff

and p! oetry”(111). He even appraises the chairs, noting they are “nice split-bottom chairs, and perfectly sound, too–not

bagged down in the middle and busted, like an old basket”(111). It is apparent Huck is more familar with busted chairs than

sound ones, and he appreciates the distinction. Huck is also more familar with flawed families than loving, virtuous ones, and

he is happy to sing the praises of the people who took him in. Col. Grangerford “was a gentleman all over; and so was his

family”(116). The Colonel was kind, well-mannered, quiet and far from frivolish. Everyone wanted to be around him, and he

gave Huck confidence. Unlike the drunken Pap, the Colonel dressed well, was clean-shaven and his face had “not a sign of

red in it anywheres”(116). Huck admired how the Colonel gently ruled his family with hints of a submerged temper. The

same temper exists in one of his daughters: “she had a look that would make you wilt in your tracks, like her father. She was

beautiful”(117). Huck does not think negatively of the hints of iron in the people he is happy to care for and let care for him.

He does not ask how three of the Colonels?s sons died, or why the family brings guns to family picnics. He sees these as

small facets of a family with “a handsome ! lot of quality”(118). He thinks no more about Jim or the raft, but knows he has

found a new home, one where he doesn?t have to go to school, is surrounded by interior and exterior beauty, and most

importantly, where he feels safe. Huck “liked that family, dead ones and all, and warn’t going to let anything come between

us”(118). Huck is a very personable narrator. He tells his story in plain language, whether describing the Grangerford’s clock

or his hunting expedition with Buck. It is through his precise, trusting eyes that the reader sees the world of the novel.

Because Huck is so literal, and does not exaggerate experiences like Jim or see a grand, false version of reality like Tom

Sawyer, the reader gains an understanding of the world Mark Twain created, the reader is able to catch Twain?s jokes and

hear his skepticism. The Grangerford’s furniture, much admired by Huck, is actually comicly tacky. You can almost hear Mark

Twain laughing over the parrot-flanked clock and the curtains with cows and castles painted on them even as Huck oohs and

ahhs. And Twain pokes fun at the young dead daughter Huck is so drawn to. Twain mocks Emmeline as an amateur writer:

“She warn’t particular, she could write about anything you choose to give her to write about, just so it was sadful”(114). Yet

Twain al! lows the images of Emmeline and the silly clock to deepen in meaning as the chapter progresses. Emmeline is

realized as an early portent of the destruction of Huck?s adopted family. The mantel clock was admired by Huck not only for

its beauty, but because the Grangerfords properly valued beauty and “wouldn?t took any money for her”(111). Huck admired

the Grangerfords? principles, and the stake they placed in good manners, delicious food, and attractive possessions. But

Huck realizes in Chapter 18 that whereas the Grangerfords may value a hand-painted clock more than money, they put little

value on human life. The third view of the Grangerford?s world is provided by Buck Grangerford. He is the same age as Huck;

he has grown up in a world of feuding, family picnics, and Sunday sermon that are appreciated but rarely followed. Buck,

from when he meets Huck until he is brutally murdered, never questions the ways of his family. For the rest of the chapter,

Buck provides a foil for Huck, showing the more mature Huck questioning and judging the world around him. In fact it seems

Buck does not have the imagination to conceive of a different world. He is amazed Huck has never heard of a feud, and

surprised by Huck?s desire to hear the history and the rationale behind it. In Buck Grangerford?s rambling answers we hear

Mark Twain?s view of a southern feuding family, and after Buck finishes his answer, we watch Huck?s reaction to the true

nature of the Grangerfords. Buck details Twain?s opinion that a feud is not started or continued by thought. The reasons for

the feud have been forgo! tten, and the Grangerfords do not hate, but in fact respect, their sworn enemies. They live their

lives by tradition, and the fact that the feud is a tradition justifies its needless, pointless violence. From the dignified Colonel

with “a few buck-shot in him”(121) to Buck, who is eager for the glory to be gained from shooting a Shepherdson in the back,

the Grangerfords unquestioningly believe in de-valuing human life because it is a civilized tradition. It is interesting that the

only compliment Huck gives to a Grangerford after Buck shot at Harney Shepherdson was to Miss Sophia. He admitts that

the young women who denied part in any family feud is “powerful pretty”(122). But the rosy sheen that had spurred Huck to

use the word ?beautiful? six times previously in description of the Grangerfords has evaporated. He attends church with the

family and notices all the Grangerfords keep their guns close by. Huck thinks it “was pretty ornery preaching”(121), but the

feuding patriarchy praises the good values listed by the Preacher. The hypocritical mixture of guns and sermons, holy talk

and bloodthirstiness make it “one of the roughest Sundays [Huck] had run across yet”(121). He now questions the motives

of everyone in the household, including Miss Sophia as she send him to the church on an errand. By this point the cynical,

sarcastic Twain and the disillusioned Huck are of one mind. Huck walks among a group of hogs who hav! e sought the

coolness of the church and notes “most folks don’t go to church only when they’ve got to; but a hog is different”(122 The

narration of Huck’s final day with the Grangerfords is prefaced by: “I don’t want to talk much about the next day”(124). For

Huck’s easy-going fluid dialogue to become stilted and censored, the reader knows the young boy has been hurt. A

senseless fatal feud is not the only tragedy depicted through the events of that day, also shown is the heartbreak of a young

boy who loses every vestige of the hopeful trust he put in a father, brothers and sisters. Huck is shocked to hear the

fatherless, brotherless Buck complain he hadn’t managed to kill his sister’s lover on an earlier occaison. And then from his

perch in the tree, Huck hears Buck’s murderers “singing out, ‘Kill them, kill them!’ It made [Huck] so sick [he] most fell out of

the tree”(127). He wishes he “hadn’t come ashore that night, to see such things”(127). The end of chapter nineteen, when

Huck returns to the raft and Jim, almost exactly mirrors the end of chapter eighteen. Both chapter conclude with Huck

enjoying a good meal with good company in a cool, comfortable place. First it is with the Grangerfords in the cool,

high-ceilinged area in the middle of their double house. “Nothing could be better”(115), Huck thought. But only a few pages

later the raft and Jim provide the same comforts. Nothing had ever sounded so good to him as Jim?s voice, and Huck felt

“mighty free and easy and comfortable on [the] raft”(128). . Huck happily slides away from the bloody scene with the

unorthodox father figure of a runaway slave. Huck has realized he does not need a traditional family to make him feel safe

and happy. He must develop and live by his own integrity, not the past decisions of a father or grandfather. This is clearly

Mark Twain?s opinion also, and the reader, full of relief at Huck?s escape, is aware that the author sen! t us all into the

Grangerfords? world to prove just that point.