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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

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How does Huck describe the Grangerfords' house in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

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The Grangerfords' house is a grand, stately pile, the epitome of gracious Southern living. Huck's never seen anything quite like it. It's a large house with several acres of land, worked by over a hundred slaves. It says a lot about the Grangerfords' wealth that each member of the family has their own personal slave to attend to their every need.

Huck's truly amazed by what he sees. For one thing, the Grangerfords don't have beds in the parlor, something that's quite common back in St. Petersburg. This is civilized folk we're dealing with here. Only the Grangerfords' airs and graces, and all the trappings of wealth they enjoy, hide a much less civilized side. For this is a family engaged in a long-standing bloody feud with their near-neighbors, the Shepherdsons. Huck's detailed description of the Grangerfords' palatial spread illustrates Twain's satire on Southern life and how it uses a thin veneer of civilization to draw a dignified veil over the barbarism lurking just beneath the surface.

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The Grangerfords' house is grand and imposing, and Huck is totally overwhelmed by it. The Grangerfords are an aristocratic Southern clan and their house reflects their massive wealth. They have servants everywhere, and also a fair bit of land. Inside the house itself there are books and pictures galore, plenty of grand furniture, and so on. Although Huck himself is overawed by the luxury of the place,Twain intends the description of the house to be a satirical one. The Grangerfords believe themselves to be extremely genteel, with all manner of artistic and romantic pretensions, for example in the way that they preserve the room of their dead daughter and her sentimental drawings. However, they are also continually engaged in a violent feud with their neighbours the Shepherdsons, which undermines all their pretensions to civility and refinement.

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