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What is 1 word that captures what the people and society all have in common in The...

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hollie42 | Student, Grade 10 | Honors

Posted October 2, 2013 at 9:24 PM via web

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What is 1 word that captures what the people and society all have in common in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:56 AM (Answer #1)

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Treachery.

Treachery is something the people and society have in common. While many of the people are hypocritical since they pretend that they are Christian but act in contrary ways, they usually manoeuvre themselves into treachery as they present themselves to others in duplicitous ways. Here are examples of the willful betrayal of trust that is exhibited by characters in Twain's novel:

  • Miss Watson promises Jim that she will never sell him South; however, she breaks this promise, and Jim runs away in fear.
  • Huck's father is awarded custody of his son despite his dissipation. After Pap has Huck, he betrays the trust of the court and beats Huck. One night, he hallucinates and chases Huck around
with a clasp-knife, calling me the Angel of Death and saying he would kill me and I couln't come for him no more.
  • As Huck and Jim travel down the Mississippi River, the "Mississippi society" composed of such as the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons exhibit tremendous short-sightedness and betrayal of their family members as they carry on their blood feud until so many of them are killed. 
  • Huck overhears a couple of thieves on the boat, the Walter Scott--a satire on the Romantic ideals of the Scottish author-- talking about how they can kill the third crook so that he won't turn state's witness against them. To prevent them from getting away, Jim and Huck cut the boat's rope and casts them afloat. 
  • Of course, the greatest examples of treachery are the King and the Duke who are heartless in their treatment of people. These "low-downs and frauds" take advantage of grieving families and naive crowds who feel the "love of God" and donate money to the king.

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