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Pap (Huck's father) said these quotes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. How are...

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noconnectionwse | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted March 2, 2012 at 5:23 AM via web

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Pap (Huck's father) said these quotes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. How are they ironic or hypocritical?

The quotes mean something else.

Pap (Huck's father) said these quotes. WHAT DOES THE FACT REALLY MEAN?

"he raised his son to go to work and do sunthin' for him."

 "Judge Thatcher keeps me out o' my property."

 "...lets him go round in clothes that ain't fittin for a hog."

"I've a mightly directed notion to just leave the country."

 "[he is] one of the wealthiest men in this town if I could get my rights."

 "I'll never vote ag'in."

 "he wouldn't 'a' give me the road if I hadn't shoved him out o' the way."

 "prowling, thieving, infernal, white-shirted free."

 

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 9, 2013 at 3:42 PM (Answer #1)

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Pap is often contradictory and hypocritical. He espouses values that he does not hold to and he derides others for wrongs that they have not done and that, often, he is actually responsible for. 

"he raised his son to go to work and do sunthin' for him."

The labor relationship between father and son is certainly more mutual than Pap suggests here. Conventionally, the father that is expected to provide for the son until the son is capable of providing for himself. When the child reaches this point, the expectation is that the child will reciprocate, making efforts to take care of the parent as the parent has/had taken care of the child. Pap, however, did not take care of Huck. There is no effort to reciprocate because Pap never "raised his son".

"Judge Thatcher keeps me out o' my property."

 

Pap has no legal property. Huck, due to his quick thinking, also has no legal property. Furthermore, Huck has not used his money to buy any thing. His property is all cash. 

"...lets him go round in clothes that ain't fittin for a hog."

 

Hogs do not wear clothes.

"I've a mightly directed notion to just leave the country."

 

This statement is made as a bitter threat, but this is exactly what Huck and everyone else wishes would happen. Far from coming across as a threat, this statement promises real relief to Huck Finn. 

"[he is] one of the wealthiest men in this town if I could get my rights."

 

First, Pap has no moral rights to Huck's money. Second, as things currently stand, Pap has no wealth whatsoever, which makes him one of the poores men in the town.

"I'll never vote ag'in."

As Pap says later, he has not voted in quite some time. He is always too drunk to make it to the polls. 

"he wouldn't 'a' give me the road if I hadn't shoved him out o' the way."

 

The road is big enough for too people, especially if one of those people is on foot as Pap was. Also, Pap demonstrates his selfish belligerence while complaining of another man's selfishness.

 "prowling, thieving, infernal, white-shirted free."

With the exception of the white shirt, this line describes Pap himself, though he intends to describe an African American man. 


 

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