How does Grangerfords/Shephersons feud change Huckleberry Finn in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?How does Grangerfords/Shephersons feud change Huckleberry Finn in The Adventures of Huckleberry...
How does Grangerfords/Shephersons feud change Huckleberry Finn in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
At first, Huck's main reaction to the feud is confusion. He doesn't understand the reasons for the feud and the continued killing back and forth between the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons, and doesn't really agree that the fighting is justified after Buck explains the history of the conflict.
Huck is upset to awaken and find that Buck and the others have left to chase down Miss Sophia and Harney without him, so hurries to catch up with the clan. Huck's hiding place up the tree allows him to talk with Buck and learn of the deaths on both sides. Huck is able to watch the next round of fighting while remaining unnoticed himself, which means he witnesses the Shepherdsons shooting Buck and his cousin Joe.
At the end of the day, Huck regrets having helped Miss Sophia and not telling Col. Grangerford about the note in the Bible, is deeply saddened and sickened by the death of the two boys, and is relieved to return to his "family" of Jim and the raft.
Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, many of the mores of society are brought into question for Huck who senses the foolishness and irrationality of many of the rules and behaviors of people. The unreasoning hatred of the Grangerfords and Shepardsons is as foolish as the antics of the duke and the king, and certainly more endangering.
With these and other adventures, Huck realizes how much more complicated and dangerous life is on the shores as opposed to the halcyon days that he spends going down river with Jim. Thus it is that Huck begins to realize the corruption of society as opposed to the natural order of things upon the river.
One thing this episode shows the reader is that the people who populate Hucks world are not entirely sane. This is true even of the most cultured people he meets, a family that constitutes one half of this ongoing fued. Just when Huck thinks he's found a good place to stay with sensible people, the family turns out to be as driven by oddity as everyone else he meets.
I think that Huck is not all that changed. I think what does happen is that he feels even more alienated from society. He has already had doubts about whether society's values are good, but now he feels more like they are not. That is why, as the previous post indicates, he is glad to get away from the civilized world and back to the raft.