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The Good, The Bad And The Troubling

959 words - 4 pages

Although people disagree over what makes someone morally “good” or morally “bad,” most people can agree that caring and compassion are good qualities while intolerance and selfishness are bad qualities.  Mark Twain uses satire in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to amplify the good and bad qualities of people.  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn exposes Twain’s thoughts on human nature by showing undesirable qualities of people in the racist white people and showing preferable qualities in the African-American slave, who is a victim of racism.  The racist white people are portrayed by Twain as prejudice and egotistic while Jim portrays compassion.
Much of the book focuses on the white people, which seems to make them the protagonists and therefore the “good” people but Twain actually makes the white people “bad” overall.  In general, the white people of the story show many bad qualities including being prejudice and selfish.  Right from the beginning of the story, one of the worst characters is introduced as Huckleberry’s dad, Pap.  Pap is both egotistic and prejudice.  He only comes to find Huck because he wants to take all of  Huck's’ money for himself.  Although Pap is not able to take all of Huck's money, he does force Huck to give him small increments of money from time to time.  Once Pap is kicked out of the town, he kidnaps Huck to impose what he thinks is the correct lifestyle on Huck.  Not only is Pap a bad influence because he is always drinking or drunk, but he also promotes racists ideas around Huck.  As soon as Pap learns that black people are allowed to vote in a single state, he comes home telling Huck, “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 nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I’ll never vote agin”(39).  By telling Huck this, Pap hopes to influence him further into racism.  Pap cannot stand the idea that black people can be even remotely equal to white people in anyway.  He is not open to the idea of equality and is so self absorbed that he cannot allow Huck to have his own ideas.  Along with the ways of Pap, other white people in Adventure of Huck Finn are also egotistic and prejudice.  When Huck arrives at the house of Tom Sawyer’s family, he pretends to be Tom as Tom’s aunt questions him about his trip.  Huck quickly makes up a story about how his boat had mechanical problems.  Surprised and worried by the story Tom’s aunt, Sally, questions him further;
‘Good gracious! anybody hurt?’
‘No’m. Killed a nigger.’...

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