Child Abuse In Huckleberry Finn

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aDave Pelzer, autobiographer and victim of child abuse, once said, “Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.” Unfortunately for Huckleberry Finn, it is the latter. His father is an abusive alcoholic who is unable to provide for Huck, as all of his money goes straight to purchasing liquor. He kidnaps Huck from Widow Douglass, who taught him proper etiquette, and takes him to live in a run-down shack near the river. Here, he is completely sheltered from anything his father did not have—religious knowledge, education, and the expectation of good manners. This reveals the father’s jealousy, as he does not want his son to be more cultured and successful than he. Huck does not seem to mind …show more content…
In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, young Huck plays a practical joke on Jim, his friend and the runaway slave, solely for his own entertainment. He kills a rattlesnake and sneaks it onto Jim’s bed, intending to get an extremely scared reaction out of him. However, “by night, [Huck] forgot all about the snake, and when Jim flung himself down on the blanket while [Huck] struck a light, the snake’s mate was there and bit him” (59). This event reveals how Huck is still immature and fails to completely think his actions and their consequences through until it is too late. His rash decision-making prevents him from seeing the cruel nature of the prank—finding enjoyment in scaring the living daylights out of Jim and making him look stupid. Another reason this is cruel is that Jim has taken Huck in like a son, being nothing but kind, hospitable, and caring: Huck overlooks this until after the fact. This is likely because society has brainwashed him into thinking that all Negros are property that is perfectly fine to mess with versus actual people with feelings. It takes him a little while to comprehend that the stereotypes about slaves are not true and their brutal treatment is inhumane. Not only does this prank unmask the naïve cruelty and inherited racism of Huck, but it also reveals Jim’s extreme superstition. Rather than directing anger towards Huck and lingering on the snake bite, he is …show more content…
Two escaped criminals that pretend to be a duke and a king are guilty of such in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. They stop at a village where a gentleman named Peter Wilks had recently died. A local townsman reveals to the king that Peter had wanted his brothers to come visit before he passed on, which turns on a light bulb for the king: where there is death, there is inheritance. He uses the local for all the information he can get, and he pretends to be William, Peter’s brother the priest, and the Duke pretends to be Harvey, Peter’s brother the deaf mute. They go into Peter’s home where his three daughters live, and they “[look] in the coffin, and [take] one sight, and then they bust out a-crying so you could [have] heard them to Orleans” (182). This reveals the how inconsiderate and disrespectful the duke and king are: they are complete strangers who are faking their tears around devastated and vulnerable people, especially the daughters, with the intent of robbing their inheritance. The daughters would have practically nothing to live off of, making the act disgustingly selfish and cruel, yet it goes to show just how far people will go to make some extra cash. This also depicts how mourning gets in the way of clear-headedness: the daughters are simply looking for people to share their sadness with and refuse to consider that the men may be frauds, even when it is brought to their

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