'That wuz him'

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EL 266

"Well, den, you k'n git yo' money when you wants it; kase dat wuz him" (Twain 320)

It is here that we find the true fate of Huckleberry Finn's Pap. Apparently he had been dead the entire time Huck was floating down the Mississippi with Jim. But what I find even more interesting is that once this line is said, Huck moves from that subject to talking about Tom Sawyer so quickly. No emotion, no extra thought, nothing is said about Pap. Huck doesn't tell us if he was happy, sad or unfeeling, he just continues right on to the end of the story.

This leaves me wondering how much he truly cared for Pap. He quotes him often while floating down the river. "Pap always said it warn't no harm to borrow things" (Twain 124). Here it seems as if Huck is already speaking of Pap as dead (past tense). Maybe in his own mind, Pap was dead to Huckleberry Finn. Huck was now free and obviously had no plans of going back to live with him, but it still seems like there was some bond there. Huck mentions that for a bit he enjoyed living with his father and he, "didn't see how [he'd] ever got to like it so well at the widow's" (Twain 90). This lasted for a short time, but once Pap had too much alcohol, Huck decided it was time to leave.

I'm still ambiguous about just how much Huck cared for his father. I think he enjoyed the freedom of his father's lifestyle, but knew he was better off somewhere else. He never mentions missing his father though out the novel like Jim is mentioned lamenting over his family. I think maybe Huck just wanted his freedom more than he wanted the love of a parent.

2 Comments

I would have to agree with you Katie, especially because of his last sentiment "But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can't stand it" (320).

We know he doesn't like civilized life, and we know he didn't want to be trapped with his Pap (thus the escape), so really Huck just likes living life on the road, by himself.

Also, since Huck was traveling so much, and he had company, he really didn't have to think about his Pap, so I would say you are on to something with Huck already thinking Pap's dead. It would be difficult to truly care for someone who treated you so poorly though if you think about it. Huck's Pap taught him street smarts, but that's all Huck really has to thank him for (as far as the reader is concerned). Thus why Huck seems detached. :)

Dave said:

I definitely agree that he doesn't seem to care about pap, but for some reason this blog made me think of something else:
Isn't the idea that Huck was "free" all along reminiscent of Jim's predicament during the Evasion. Like Jim, Huck is free, yet unaware of it. No idea what it might mean yet, I just barely noticed it.

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