Huck Finn Dialectical Journal #1
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“and as they went by I see they had the king and the duke astraddle of a rail – that is, I knowed it WAS the king and the duke, though they was all over tar and feathers, and didnt look like nothing in the world that was human – just looked like a couple of monstrous big soldier-plumes. Well, it made me sick to see it; and I was sorry for them poor pitiful rascals, it seemed like I couldnt ever feel any hardness against them any more in the world. It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another” (Twain 191).
From this passage, Huck demonstrates the theme that man still has compassion, even for those who treat others with disrespect. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain portrays this theme using irony. Throughout the story, the king and the duke treat Huck with deception and unkindness, such as when the duke lies to Huck about where Jim is. Ever since the king and the duke began traveling with Huck, he has assisted them and taken care of things when asked. Huck knew since the beginning that they were both con artists and lied about everything, but still never showed any sign of disrespect towards them. Even though Huck has shown them much kindness, they have been cruel and deceiving towards Huck and Jim. The natural response to that type of treatment would be anger and resentment. Although Huck did feel that way about most of the duke and the kings actions, he also felt sympathetic when he saw the townspeople tormenting them. After all the trouble the king and the duke has put Huck through, Huck actually says, “it made me sick to see it; and I was sorry for them poor pitiful rascals” (Twain 191). It is ironic that Huck can be so kindhearted towards the king and the duke after all they have put him through.
This passage fits perfectly well at the end of Chapter 33. It is towards the end of the book, after readers have seen how malicious the king and the duke have been to