The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

An Analysis of Pap: The Ultimate Villain of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” 12th Grade

Whether it be the Joker in the infamous Batman series, or Norman Bates in the cinematic classic, Psycho, some of the most prolific pieces of literature and film contain an antihero. As stated by Alfred Hitchcock, “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture”. Although this maxim may be true for the plethora of horror and thriller films produced by Hitchcock, Mark Twain utilizes a different approach in developing the characterization of the villain. Instead of creating a backstory for the antagonists of his stories, Twain disregards doing so entirely, stressing the belief that doing what is morally wrong is not justifiable based on the character’s upbringing. This is demonstrated profoundly in his infamous 1884 novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. As Huck encounters more people along his journey on the Mississippi with the runaway slave, Jim, Twain makes a clear distinction between the antagonists and the protagonists. Thus, with this structure that the abusive and drunken character of Pap, Huck’s father, is the ultimate villain of this classic American novel. Through his actions and impacts on Huck, Twain illustrates how Pap’s wrongdoings are an allusion to the hypocritical Southern society that Huck...

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