Alcohol use in Huck Finn is usually portrayed as compulsive and excessive, and it’s always a harmful activity. Huck’s father is an abusive alcoholic, and therefore his son can see nothing positive about the substance in any given situation. Every time a man touches a drop of alcohol in the novel, needless harm comes to him and/or innocent bystanders. Besides Pap’s drunken abuse of Huck, the king sells Jim back into slavery in order to get cash for a whiskey binge. Even a harmless town alcoholic (Boggs from Chapter 21) gets killed because he directs one of his drunken rants at the wrong guy.
Alcohol serves to satirize, denigrate, and condemn Southern culture in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.