Violence In Huck Finn

Decent Essays
Nezzled inside of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is a tale of innocence, displayed through quite the opposite: violence. There are several scenes throughout this novel that utilize the power of violence. Huck Finn has an abusive father, and the Gregerfords have a violent relationship with their neighbors. Mark Twain uses violence as a way to prove Huck Finn’s innocence.
“[Pap] used to always whale [Huck] when he was sober and could get his hands on [Huck]; though [Huck] used to take to the woods most of the time when [Pap] was around.” (9) Huck doesn’t appreciate his father’s company, because he is abusive. He hides out when his father is in town because he is afraid, and hiding is the only way he knows how to avoid the beatings
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The neighboring families appreciate each other’s company, and wherever the families go, “the men [take] their guns along, so [does] Buck, and [keep] them between their knees or [stand] them handy against the wall. The Shepherdsons [do] the same.” (83) Neither family trusts the other, all over petty, unknown reasons. They fight, because it is their way of life.
Mark Twain’s purpose in adding violence to his novel is to show the reader that Huck Finn is a very sensitive character, who despite his past wishes peace among all people. It reminds the reader that running away is difficult, but even those who appear “tough,” actually have a soft spot. Huck Finn plays a fairly innocent role throughout the book, and these acts of violence enforce this characterization.
As Huck Finn’s character develops he is seen as a stronger character, but his response to violence remains the same. He does not approve. Early in the novel Huck avoids his father because of fear of being hit. Later in the novel, Huck Finn struggles to understand why the Grangerfords are fighting. And he is right. There is no apparent reason, it’s just what they’ve done for as long as they can remember. Violence reminds the reader that Huck Finn is a sensitive, innocent boy still, and has yet to become a strong

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