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Compare Contrast Huck Finn

  • Date Submitted: 03/26/2014 03:47 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.1 
  • Words: 944
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Sawyer and Huck Finn are the two most well-known characters among American readers. In fact, one could say that they are the most famous pair in all of American literature. Tom and Huck are completely different from each other in nearly every way. In fact, they are polar opposites in basic living situations and in the ways in which they view the world.

While Tom and Huck share the common bond of being orphans, Tom lives in a civilized household with an aunt who loves him, who is tolerant of his boyish pranks, and who is deeply concerned about his welfare. In contrast, Huck Finn is alone, has no home, and his father is the town drunkard who completely ignores his son and, in his drunken rages, beats him violently. Thus, Huck has no one to take care of him. It is a sad commentary indeed that, at the end of the novel, Mr. Jones is the first adult ever to welcome Huck inside a private home. While Tom sleeps in a comfortable bed at night, Huck might be found sleeping in someone’s barn, in a cardboard box, or his favorite sleeping place, in an empty hogheads barrel. In fact, this is where Tom finds him after one of their episodes. And while Tom is served three meals a day, Huck has to scrounge for food for himself. Their clothes are vastly different; Tom is dressed as a typical schoolboy would be dressed, but Huck wears discarded overalls held up by one buckle, and he most often goes barefoot. Tom goes to the accepted and respectable school, attends Sunday school, and is invited to parties in other people’s homes. Huck does not attend school and, naturally, is not invited to parties. Instead he is free from responsibility and moves freely in and out of the town, sometimes disappearing for days, and is never missed. His education is from the proverbial “school of hard knocks.”

In contrast to Tom, Huck is an outcast from society. Rather than conform, Huck thrives on his freedom from such restraints as society imposes. He cannot abide by the strictures of living in a...


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