Honors English 11
18 December 2011
Throughout the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn there are numerous crimes. The violence of these crimes is described vividly by Huck, the narrator, which shows their impact upon him. By showing Huck's shock over these events, Twain is showing that there is no real justice in the South, except for the hollow and often inappropriate excess found attempts to obtain personal justice. During these scenes Huck's turmoil reflects what Twain wants the reader to feel. Ultimately, this novel is a sharp criticism of a Southern lifestyle where justice is unobtainable.
In the beginning of the story, Huck seems to feel at ease ...view middle of the document...
"I fetched the pig in and took him back nearly to the table and hacked into his throat with the ax and laid him down on the ground to bleed." (Twain 33) Since Huck's dad kept him locked up in the house, it was impossible for him to get away to find help so that he could get justice for what his father had done to him. His only other option was to seek personal justice by creating a convincing plan that would get him away from his father. "I pulled out some of my hair, and blooded the ax good, and stuck it on the back side, and slung the ax in the corner" (Twain 33)
Jim Turner has, in a sense, abused his rights in terms of wanting more than his share of the money stolen. "You always want more'n your share of the truck, and you've always got it, too, because you've swore't if you didn't you'd tell." (Twain 67) In response to his actions, some of the men want to kill him to fulfill personal justice, by making a rash decision of shooting him without thinking of the consequences. Packard does want Jim Turner dead, but wants it done in considerable or professional way. Packard plans on pushing Turner out on a boat to drown, rather than shooting him. "Put up that pistol, Bill." (68) By doing it this way the men can avoid getting directly blamed for Jim Turner's death and also achieving personal justice. "I reckon that's a considerable sight better 'n killin' him. I'm unfavorable to killin' a man as long as you can git aroun' it." (Twain 69)
The Grangerfords and Sheperdsons long lasting rivalry does not accomplish a permanent sense of justice. They only feel a sense of accomplishment by killing each other for a short amount of time. The main reason of the feud is not clearly known. "Him? He never done nothing to me." "Well, then, what did you want to kill him for?" "Why nothing-- only it's on account of the feud."" (Twain 107.) Although there was a lawsuit involved justice was only given to one family. This leads to the other family fighting to attain their justice. "There was trouble 'bout something, and then a lawsuit to settle it; and the suit went against one of the men, and so he up and shot the man that won the suit-- which he would naturally do of course. Anybody would." (Twain 108) This ongoing process shows how Twain views the Southern form of lawsuit, and that it fails to bring justice to both sides of an argument.
Through Huck's reaction of the fighting, Twain is trying to make the reader feel that the family's sense of personal justice is wrong. The family was running and ".. singing out, "Kill then, kill them“ Huck also feels, “.. so sick I most fell out of the tree. I ain't a-going to tell all that happened-- it would make me sick again if I was to do that." (Twain 114) It also makes the reader think about how the Southern lifestyle contrasts to the modern lifestyle.
Boggs is known throughout the town as a man that does not uphold his threats. "Another one says, "I wisht old Boggs'd threatenme, 'cuz then...