Huck leaves behind one family—an abusive, drunken one—to find family after family as he travels down the Mississippi River, from the feuding Grangerfords to the grieving sisters to the cozy Aunt Sally. He also comes up with fake families, one after another, whenever he needs a good tall tale to spin. It's almost as though he's trying to make up for how lousy his own family situation is. But in the end, Huck leaves behind both his potential new family of Aunt Sally and his family-like bond with Jim and Tom to become a true orphan, setting out for the territories. In Huckleberry Finn, does family make you stronger—or does it just hold you back?
Huck's journey along the river and the tales he tells about family are all part of his search for the perfect home. But he finds the entire familial system so flawed that he gives up and heads west at the end of the novel.
Huck's search for the perfect family ends in his realization that he already has a perfect family in his friends.