Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Family Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Don't you give me none o' your lip," says he. "You've put on considerable many frills since I been away. I'll take you down a peg before I get done with you. 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. Who told you you might meddle with such hifalut'n foolishness, hey?—who told you you could?" (5.6)
Think parents are supposed to want the best for their children? Think again. To Pap, children are supposed to be just as miserable, drunk, racist, and uneducated as their parents. Anything else would be "hifalut'n."
The judge and the widow went to law to get the court to take me away from him and let one of them be my guardian; but it was a new judge that had just come, and he didn't know the old man; so he said courts mustn't interfere and separate families if they could help it; said he'd druther not take a child away from its father. So Judge Thatcher and the widow had to quit on the business. (5.30)
In general, we'd agree with the new judge: families should stay together. But there isn't one single redeeming thing about Pap and, for once, we'd wish the government would just interfere already.
"Call this a govment! why, just look at it and see what it's like. Here's the law a-standing ready to take a man's son away from him—a man's own son, which he has had all the trouble and all the anxiety and all the expense of raising. Yes, just as that man has got that son raised at last, and ready to go to work and begin to do suthin' for HIM and give him a rest, the law up and goes for him. And they call THAT govment! (6.10)
Pap wants all of the rights of fatherhood (having a son to look after him in his old age) without any of the responsibilities (actually caring for and educating that son). But we really can't imagine that Pap went to too much anxiety and expense to raise Huck.