Who is your Daddy? An essay on That Jim is a true father of Huck (from Clemens's "Huckleberry Finn")

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 1997

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The father of a family is its supporter and leader. He loves and respects his

children, and must be willing to sacrifice for them. In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Huck's father has none of these traits. The father, Pap, is an

abusive and drunk man. He treats Huck like a caged animal and not a son. Pap does not

posses the qualities to be any kind of a father. However, Jim, a slave with whom Huck

escapes, posses the qualities to be a father to Huck.

The 'Dead-Beat Dad' is a title that no father wants to have or ever want to

receive, but Huck's father wins the title 'hands down.' As bluntly stated by Edwin H.

Cady, 'He [Pap] was a thief and a drunk, illiterate, filthy, full of howling hate against

blacks, schools, cleanliness, and responsibility, a con artist and a sadist' (388).

Pap cannot

read and his wife couldn't read, so by the reasoning of his mind, Huck should not be able

to read either. 'Your mother couldn't read, and she couldn't write... I can't; and here

you're a-swelling yourself up like this' (Clemens 21). Pap was 'anti-schooling' and

strongly believed in it. He would do anything in order to follow this idea, just like a

brainwashed Nazi soldier. He beat or threatened Huck not to go to school. 'If I catch

you about the school I'll tan you for good' (Clemens 21). Fathers feel proud when their

son achieves higher than they did, a good feeling emerges from their soul. Pap does not

feel good, but envy for his son. 'He put his head back in, and cussed me for putting on

frills and trying to be better than him' (Clemens 22). Pap was also...