Huckleberry Finn is a book that contains elements of romantic and realistic fiction; even though it contains both these elements, it is a book on realistic fiction, and that is how it was written to be. Mark Twain used historical facts and data to make this story realistic, it used situations that would normally happen in the time the novel takes place in. Huckleberry Finn’s father is a vagrant and a despicable person; his actions are written to how a man of that characteristic would act. Two more characters in this novel also act accordingly; the Duke and the Dauphin.
A couple of crooks and frauds who are ill at heart and produce no good at all. A kind man Jim, a black slave at the beginning of this novel, goes through much and many people go through much for him. Of these characters I have just mentioned, Jim is the only considerate one, and the Duke and the Dauphin and Huckleberry Finn’s father are evil. Huckleberry Finn has no strong feelings for his father except that of resentment. His father abandoned him when he was a child and come backs to town once in a while. His father would beat Huck many times usually because he was drunk.
This is not unusual for someone drunk to do if that person is a beater. “I used to be scared of him all the time, he tanned me so much. ” (Twain, p. 25) Besides him beating Huck, his father has put fear into Huck, which is sad, but is realistic. Besides beating Huck, he also scolded him for trying to get an education; he though Huck was trying to become smarter than his father, and he wouldn’t have that. “You’re educated, too, they say — can read and write. You think you’re better’n your father, now, don’t you, because he can’t? I’ll take it out of you. ” (Twain, pg. )
Not only is Huck’s father mean and petty, he is also greedy. “‘I’ve been in town two days, and I hain’t heard nothing but about you bein’ rich. I heard about it away down the river, too. That’s why I come. You git me that money to-morrow — I want it. ‘”(Twain, pg. 27) But Huck’s father isn’t the only greedy character in this play, there are two men that pose as the Duke and the Dauphin (who are obviously not really who they claim to be). These were two men that were frauds, they would scam people out of their money and move along to the next town as swiftly as possible.
Occasionally they were, caught, which is quite realistic. “‘Well, I’d been selling an article to take the tartar off the teeth — and it does take it off, too, and generly the enamel along with it — but I stayed about one night longer than I ought to, and was just in the act of sliding out when I ran across you on the trail this side of town, and you told me they were coming, and begged me to help you to get off. So I told you I was expecting trouble myself, and would scatter out with you. ‘” One example of how these men are nobody but a couple of petty thieves.
Well, I’d ben a-running’ a little temperance revival thar ’bout a week, and was the pet of the women folks, big and little, for I was makin’ it mighty warm for the rummies, I tell you, and takin’ as much as five or six dollars a night — ten cents a head, children and niggers free — and business a-growin’ all the time, when somehow or another a little report got around last night that I had a way of puttin’ in my time with a private jug on the sly. ‘” (Twain, pg. 161) A very noble person does not get the respect he deserved Jim that is. Jim was a very brave, strong, courageous man, and the only person that truly recognizes him is Huck.
There is one scene where Huck is questioned about a runaway slave. Most people would have given Jim away really quickly, but Huck’s friendship with Jim, and that he knows how good a person he is does not. “‘ Well, there’s five niggers run off to-night up yonder, above the head of the bend. Is your man white or black? ‘” Then Huck replies, “‘ He’s white. ‘” (Twain, 120) Though this may not seem to be a big quote, it is quite important. It shows how Huck feels about Jim, and that a friendship between two people is very strong, and most peoples in that situation with a friendship like that would do the same, making it a realistic situation.
Yes, Huckleberry Finn contains elements of romanticism and elements of realism. But throughout this book, the element of realism prevails, and thus making this book a realistic fiction novel. These examples I have given should be just enough to prove this point of realism over romanticism. These two elements do coexist, but romanticism isn’t a strong enough element to categorize the book in. But to say this book only has elements of realism is unjust.