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Social Class in Huckleberry Finn

In Huckleberry Finn there are four social classes.  Social class in Huckleberry Finn research papers show the highest is a landed aristocracy represented by the Grangerford family.  There is also a solid, town-based, upper-middle class represented by the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson.  Next comes the lower class of whites represented by Huckleberry Finn himself and his father.  And last come the Black people, represented by Jim.Social Class in Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain was a humorist and it is sometimes difficult to tell how much meaning to attach to his observations.  It seems to be the case that he is not overly enamoured of the aristocracy.  “Col. Grangerford was a gentleman, you see.  He was a gentleman all over, and so was his family”.  There follows a description of his family and it is a description designed to emphasize their dignity, gentility, and wealth. Interestingly, Widow Douglas and Jim’s father are stated to endorse the idea that Grangerford is “well born” and that this is “worth as much in a man as it is in a horse”. 

But at the end Mark Twain's praise for the aristocratic virtues of this man and his family, there emerges the fact that they have been engaged for decades in a blood feud with another aristocratic family.  Twain, if I read him right, finds these people in the end to be absurdly stupid. There is a fundamental nineteenth century egalitarianism in him that has no truck with a landed aristocracy of birth.


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