The Evil Of Society In Mark Twain's The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

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Many authors will use characters or situations in their stories to represent similar people or events that occur in real life. Typically this is to draw an eye-opening comparison to the negative qualities of the corresponding people or events. In the realistic fiction The Adventures of Huck Finn, Mark Twain uses Huckleberry Finn’s encounters with several villainous characters to enhance the meaning of the work by having them act as an analogy to the evil of society. At the beginning of the book, Twain begins to tap into the evil of society through Huck’s father, Pap. The first connection he holds with society is his jealous character. During Huck’s initial encounter with Pap in the book, Pap tells Huck what he’s heard, saying “You’re educated …show more content…
It will make efforts to make sure they come out on top, especially not under the bottom of others who are deemed unworthy. Pap also represents the drunkenness society can be in. When the new judge comes to town, he believes that he can ‘reform’ Pap to make him a better person. After an emotional exchange with Pap and some others, he claims, “There’s a hand that was the hand of a hog… it’s a clean hand now,” (Twain 24). However, no sooner than that all happened, Pap sold off the new coat he was gifted for some whiskey, and almost froze to death in the cold of the outside. And so holds true for so many in the real world. Society can be so far gone down the deep end in a drunken stupor that nothing can awake it. The new judge claimed “a body could reform [Pap] with a shotgun, maybe, but he didn’t know no other way,” (Twain 24). Regardless of all that one can try to do to fix society, it can still be lost to oblivion. Pap lastly showcases the greed of society. In Huck’s initial encounter with Pap in the book, Pap says, “They say you’re rich… that’s why I come. You get me that money tomorrow - I want it,” (Twain 22). Society will go through any means necessary to better itself above others, and money is always a point to be reckoned with when it comes to power. People will go through all kinds of effort to possess money, and will not be fazed in doing so. Sloan notes that “In politics, the vision (Twain’s Huck Finn*) …show more content…
The first way they represent the evil of society is through their show of deceit. Huck acknowledges, “It didn’t take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn’t no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds,” (Twain 128). “To Twain open fraudulence claiming monarchal authority for personal gain is merely comic shorthand for historical fact,” (Sloan), and thus a connection between the Duke and the Dauphin and society is established. So much of society is filled with those who are not credible. It consists of much fraudulence and illegitimacy, and this is shown easily through the Duke and Dauphin. If they feel the need, they will lie, cheat, and steal their way to the top. Another important aspect the Duke and Dauphin symbolize in their representation of society’s evil is its ambition to attain what it wants. When catching wind of the news of the freshly dead Peter Wilks, the Duke and Dauphin didn’t take long to formulate a plan that would allow them to inherit his money. Impersonating as his brothers, the two bawled for the loss of their ‘family’ upon reaching the town. To Huck, the sight “was enough to make a body shamed of the human race,” (Twain 165). Later on when they are putting up the same show for a different crowd, Huck remarks that he “never seen anything so

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