Adventures Of Huck Finn And Superstitions
Huckleberry Finn provides the narrative voice of Mark Twain’s novel, and his
honest voice combined with his personal vulnerabilities reveal the different
levels of the Grangerfords’ world. Huck is without a family: neither the
drunken attention of Pap nor the pious ministrations of Widow Douglas were
desirable allegiance. He stumbles upon the Grangerfords in darkness, lost from

Jim and the raft. The family, after some initial cross-examination, welcomes,
feeds and rooms Huck with an amiable boy his age. With the light of the next
morning, Huck estimates "it was a mighty nice family, and a mighty nice
house, too"(110). This is the first of many compliments Huck bestows on the

Grangerfords and their possessions. Huck is impressed by all of the Grangerfords’
belongings and liberally offers compliments. The books are piled on the table
"perfectly exact"(111), the table had a cover made from
"beautiful oilcloth"(111), and a book was filled with "beautiful
stuff and poetry"(111). He even appraises the chairs, noting they are
"nice split-bottom chairs, and perfectly sound, too--not bagged down in the
middle and busted, like an old basket"(111). It is apparent Huck is more
familar with busted chairs than sound ones, and he appreciates the distinction.

Huck is also more familar with flawed families than loving, virtuous ones, and
he is happy to sing the praises of the people who took him in. Col. Grangerford
"was a gentleman all over; and so was his family"(116). The Colonel
was kind, well-mannered, quiet and far from frivolish. Everyone wanted to be
around him, and he gave Huck confidence. Unlike the drunken Pap, the Colonel
dressed well, was clean-shaven and his face had "not a sign of red in it
anywheres" (116). Huck admired how the Colonel gently ruled his family with
hints of a submerged temper. The same temper exists in one of his daughters:
"she had a look that would make you wilt in your tracks, like her father.

She was beautiful"(117). Huck does not think negatively of the hints of
iron in the people he is happy to care for and let care for him. He does not ask
how three of the Colonels’s sons died, or why the family brings guns to family
picnics. He sees these as small facets of a family with "a handsome lot of
quality" (118). He thinks no more about Jim or the raft, but knows he has
found a new home, one where he doesn’t have to go to school, is surrounded by
interior and exterior beauty, and most importantly, where he feels safe. Huck
"liked that family, dead ones and all, and warn\'t going to let anything
come between us"(118). Huck is a very personable narrator. He tells his
story in plain language, whether describing the Grangerford\'s clock or his
hunting expedition with Buck. It is through his precise, trusting eyes that the
reader sees the world of the novel. Because Huck is so literal, and does not
exaggerate experiences like Jim or see a grand, false version of reality like

Tom Sawyer, the reader gains an understanding of the world Mark Twain created,
the reader is able to catch Twain’s jokes and hear his skepticism. The

Grangerford\'s furniture, much admired by Huck, is actually comicly tacky. You
can almost hear Mark Twain laughing over the parrot-flanked clock and the
curtains with cows and castles painted on them even as Huck oohs and ahhs. And

Twain pokes fun at the young dead daughter Huck is so drawn to. Twain mocks

Emmeline as an amateur writer: "She warn\'t particular, she could write
about anything you choose to give her to write about, just so it was sadful"(114).

Yet Twain allows the images of Emmeline and the silly clock to deepen in meaning
as the chapter progresses. Emmeline is realized as an early portent of the
destruction of Huck’s adopted family. The mantel clock was admired by Huck not
only for its beauty, but because the Grangerfords properly valued beauty and
"wouldn’t took any money for her"(111). Huck admired the

Grangerfords’ principles, and the stake they placed in good manners, delicious
food, and attractive possessions. But Huck realizes in Chapter 18 that whereas
the Grangerfords may value a hand-painted clock more than money, they put little
value on human life. The third view of the Grangerford’s world is provided by

Buck Grangerford. He is the same age as Huck; he has grown up in a world of
feuding, family picnics, and Sunday sermon that are appreciated but rarely
followed. Buck, from when he meets Huck until he is brutally murdered, never
questions the ways of his family.