31 October 2017
The Flaws of Society
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a book full of symbolism and allusion to
societal issues that were relevant at the time the book was written, released, and still
very relevant to this day. Mark Twain, the author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
pointed out various flaws that the people of the real world had through his writing. He
skillfully use his characters, events, and timing to rebuke the blemishes that society
was either oblivious or accustomed to. In many ways these blemishes and the lessons
to be learned from them are still applicable to today’s society.
Throughout the novel, racism is a recurring theme that is represented in many
diﬀerent fashions through many diﬀerent characters. Some of the people of the novel
do not see blacks as equals no matter how good, educated, or hard-working they are.
Pap, the father of Huck (the main character), is an extremely racist and bad person in
general. He says “‘They said he[a black man] could vote when he was at home. Well,
that let me out. Thinks I, what is the country a-coming to? It was 'lection day, and I was
just about to go and vote myself if I warn't too drunk to get there; but when they told
me there was a State in this country where they'd let that n***** vote, I drawed out. I
says I'll never vote agin’”(28). This quote shows how skewed Pap’s view of society is.
As an uneducated, drunk, and uncaring as he is, he still feels entitled to more than any
black man. This is similar to the Duke’s racism, he says “‘Mary Jane 'll be in mourning
31 October 2017
from this out; and first you know the n***** that does up the rooms will get an order to
box these duds up and put 'em away; and do you reckon a n***** can run across
money and not borrow some of it?’”(162) to pretty much call all black people thieves
when he himself makes his living oﬀ of deceiving people and stealing, but entitlement
was not the only cause of racism that Twain included in the novel. He has a boy that
we meet say “‘Well, I reckon! There's two hunderd dollars reward on him[a black man].
It's like picking up money out'n the road’”(192) to show that the children even saw
blacks as lesser beings because that is just how it was. It was normal in that society to
see blacks as less important as whites.
Twain also focuses on the flaw of alcoholism in society. In the book, this flaw is
almost entirely represented by Huck’s father, Pap. When talking about his father, Huck
says “so every now and then I'd borrow two or three dollars oﬀ of the judge for him, to
keep from getting a cowhiding. Every time he got money he got drunk; and every time
he got drunk he raised Cain around town; and every time he raised Cain he got jailed.
He was just suited – this kind of thing was right in his line.’”(24). Twain makes it clear
that alcoholism leads to broken families because of the “cowhidings” or beatings...