Discuss the theme of appearance in "Huckleberry Finn", in Chapter I.With reference to the significance of money and property.

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Twain uses much of this book in order to comment on how appearances can be deceiving.  Many of the so-called respectable members of Huck's society only appear to be respectable; in truth, they are hypocritical and often immoral.

Take Miss Watson, who is showcased in Chapter One.  Miss Watson is an affluent Christian woman.  She preaches to Huck about the importance of prayer and of being "religious."  However, Huck is often confused by her talk.  She says that he must be good like her to go to the "good place" (heaven) when he dies.  However, Huck doesn't think she is so religious.  She is intolerant of him, and she owns a slave. 

Huck figures that the place she is going (heaven) isn't so good if it takes people like her.  He says, “Well, I couldn’t see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn’t try for it.”

Through Huck's childhood confusion, readers can see that the appearance of "goodness" doesn't mean goodness exists.  We also understand that having money and property might cause one to be even more hypocritical - Huck is penniless, but he is true to his beliefs.

aasraj | Student

Huckleberry Finn as regarded the most important character in the novel explained by Mark Twain as a homely child who has basically not been under the proper brought up. Due to his departed parent and particularly his drunkard father Pap, he was mishandled and under cared. His appearance tells you his probable behaviours in coming parts of the novel and anybody can guess that he would be a careless, naughty and uneducated child. Though people were there to look after him but they did not actually like him.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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