The character that has had the most influence on Huck is undoubtedly Pap, who Huck has been around for almost his entire life. Although many may see it differently, Pap has in fact had a number of positive influences on Huck. In fact, Pap has never really had negative influence on Huck because Huck never looks up to him or sees him as a role model; Huck actually strives not to be like Pap.
Huck has been forced all his life to think of ways to trick or fool Pap to avoid punishment, and this shows to be an invaluable resource when Huck is able to think so quickly and smoothly conjure up very plausible lies which have helped him and Jim immensely in escaping bad situations or getting strangers to inadvertently help them along their journey.
Without Huck’s ingenuity learned from many years of experience living with Pap, he could not even have escaped the cabin he was prisoner to without being followed and searched for.
While it may be considered the greatest American novel of all time, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn routinely disappoints readers with its lackluster and abrupt ending. I was one of them. Going back past the ending, I was stunned by the behavior of Huck when Tom Sawyer enters the picture. Huck appears to lose control of his own will, going along with every nonsensical scheme Tom presents and agreeing with all his insane objections.
All the misadventures and journeys Huck and Jim seem to be for naught, as Huck even allows Jim’s capture to become a game at the hands of the true villain of the novel, Tom Sawyer.
Huck becomes Tom’s accomplice in crime yet again, submissive and gullible, and leaving the reader wanting to reach into the depths of the novel and strangle Tom to death. To myself and many others, this regression is as unforgivable as it is unbelievable. Going back a little further, it is actually clear that the “Great American Novel” unravels even as far back as the feud, the start of the little episodes and adventures that distract from the true meaning of the novel; the relationship between Jim and Huck. Huck seems the care little that Jim could be dead in the fog when they are separated, and barely shows any affection when he finds out Jim is alive.
For Mark Twain to not attempt the correct these fatal mistakes in what may be the most disappointing ending in the history of literature is astonishing. It would appear that Twain had encountered demons of his own, perhaps the coming of the apocalypse or writer’s block, because the ending is so rushed and inconsistent that it could pass for a “Make your own ending” assignment written by a 6th grader. Out of nowhere, all Huck’s problems are solved and no lesson is learned, no hardship is overcome, no gaps are bridged. Perhaps the “Great American Novel” isn’t so great after all.