Huckleberry Finn

Huckleberry Finn

Huckleberry Finn provides the narrative voice of Mark Twain\'s novel, and his
honestvoice combined with his personal vulnerabilities reveal the different
levels of the Grangerfords\'

world. Huck is without a family: neither the drunken attention of Pap nor the
pious ministrations of Widow Douglas were desirable allegiance. He stumbles upon
the Grangerfords in darkness, lost from Jim and the raft. The family, after some
initial cross examination, welcomes, feeds and rooms Huck with an amiable boy
his age. With the light of the next morning, Huck estimates "it was a
mighty nice family, and a mighty nice house, too"(110). This is the first
of many compliments Huck bestows on the Grangerfords and their possessions. Huck
is impressed by all of the Grangerfords\' belongings and liberally offers
compliments. The books are piled on the table "perfectly exact"(111),
the table had a cover made from "beautiful oilcloth"(111), and a book
was filled with "beautiful stuff and poetry"(111). He even appraises
the chairs, noting they

are "nice split-bottom chairs, and perfectly sound, too-not bagged down
in the middle and

busted, like an old basket"(111). It is apparent Huck is more familar
with busted chairs than sound ones, and he appreciates the distinction.

Huck is also more familiar with flawed families than loving, virtuous ones,
and he is happy to sing the praises of the people who took him in. Col.
Grangerford "was a gentleman all

over; and so was his family"(116). The Colonel was kind, well-mannered,
quiet and far from frivolish. Everyone wanted to be around him, and he gave Huck
confidence. Unlike the drunken Pap, the Colonel dressed well, was clean-shaven
and his face had "not a sign of red in it anywheres"(116). Huck
admired how the Colonel gently ruled his family with hints of a submerged
temper. The same temper exists in one of his daughters: "she had a look
that would make you wilt in your tracks, like her father. She was
beautiful"(117). Huck does not think negatively of the hints of iron in the
people he is happy to care for and let care for him. He does not ask how three
of the Colonels\'s sons died, or why the family brings guns to family picnics. He
sees these as small facets of a family with "a handsome lot of
quality"(118). He thinks no more about Jim or the raft, but knows he has
found a new home, one where he doesn\'t have to go to school, is surrounded by
interior and exterior beauty, and most importantly, where he feels safe. Huck
"liked that family, dead ones and all, and warn\'t going to let anything
come between us"(118).

Huck is a very personable narrator. He tells his story in plain language,

describing the Grangerford\'s clock or his hunting expedition with Buck. It is
through his precise, trusting eyes that the reader sees the world of the novel.
Because Huck is so literal, and does not exaggerate experiences like Jim or see
a grand, false version of reality like Tom Sawyer, the reader gains an
understanding of the world Mark Twain created, the reader is able to catch
Twain\'s jokes and hear his skepticism. The Grangerford\'s furniture, much admired
by Huck, is actually comicly tacky. You can almost hear Mark Twain laughing over
the parrot-flanked

clock and the curtains with cows and castles painted on them even as Huck
oohs and ahhs. And Twain pokes fun at the young dead daughter Huck is so drawn
to. Twain mocks Emmeline as an amateur writer: "She warn\'t particular, she
could write about anything you choose to give her to write about, just so it was
sadful"(114). Yet Twain allows the images of Emmeline and the silly clock
to deepen in meaning as the chapter progresses. Emmeline is realized as an early
portent of the destruction of Huck\'s adopted family. The mantel clock was
admired by Huck not only for its beauty, but because the Grangerfords properly
valued beauty and "wouldn\'t took any money for her"(111). Huck admired
the Grangerfords\' principles, and the stake they placed in good manners,
delicious food, and attractive possessions. But Huck realizes in Chapter 18 that
whereas the Grangerfords may value a hand-painted clock more than money, they
put little value on human life.

The third view of the Grangerford\'s world is provided by Buck Grangerford. He
is the same age as Huck; he has grown up in a world of feuding, family picnics,
and Sunday sermon that are appreciated but rarely followed. Buck, from when he
meets Huck until he is brutally murdered, never questions the ways of his
family. For the rest of the chapter, Buck provides a foil for Huck,