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Women’s Role in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

Huckleberry Finn has many prominent female characters. They all serve different roles, some are caretakers and, others are dependents. The individual women are very independent and sometimes more dominant than men, while the women in groups rely on men.

The individual women, such as the Aunts, Miss Watson, and Widow Douglas, were all self-sufficient, hard working women. They were all educated, and have high morels. None of them could easily be scammed; although Aunt Sally was mislead, she questioned the actions of Huck and Tom. They did truly care about the boys, which is shown in Aunt Polly, Tom’s guardian, and Miss Watson and Widow Douglas, Huck’s guardians. They put themselves second in order to give the boys a good home, but never ask for compensation.

Even after Tom left Aunt Polly’s house, she did not reject him, she straightened Huck and Tom’s identities out and scolded them for their mishaps. In her household, Aunt Sally dominated over her husband, Uncle Phelps. She was able to hold him responsible for anything and he would take the blame then fix the problem. She had the respect of every family member because her duty was to keep the household in order. The single women had strong characters and morels but did not lack concern for others.

Women in groups were portrayed as unwise, overly trusting, and simple. The Wilks sisters, Mary Jane, Susan and Joanna, relied on their uncles, who were two con men trying to take advantage of them, when their father died. They put total trust in the uncles. Enough trust to give the uncles all their money to be invest. They were dependent because they had never been without a guardian and have no way of knowing what to do in that situation. They depended on the men in their lives to make a living, so when two men step up and take the role they did not question it. When they realized they had been deceived, they were disappointed but ended up having their real uncles to care for them. Mary Jane’s innocence is shown by her reaction to the separation of the slave family; she spends hours crying and pitying them but never did anything to help the situation. The three sisters represent women in units that were depicted as foolish and innocent.

Women in Huckleberry Finn are both naïve, in groups, and intelligent, as individuals. The women have opposite roles in the adventure. Some are used to make Huck an appalling character and others are to display his respectable qualities. More of the women are self-reliant than contingent on others.

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