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These two families parallel the North and the South in the Civil War, with the Shepherdson's representing the North and the Grangerford's representing the South. Both families are God frearing/ church going folks, but they also tote their guns to church, plot murders, and follow any commandment but "love thy neighbor." Twain uses these families to show the loss of life and ridiculous aspect of feuding, thus displaying his feeling for the Civil War. If we really look into what he wrote, we'll see that he felt the Civil War was not only wrong but also avoidable.