Huck's Relationship with Pap Huckleberry Finn has relationships with many people and things throughout his travels traversing the river. One of Huck's main relationships is with his father, Pap. Pap is depicted as rather a contemptible character. There are some things about his father that Huck likes; there are many things he hates about him.
Because Huck despises the presence of civility in society, he respects Pap's hatred for civility. As well, Huck dislikes the way Pap takes advantage of him, Pap's drinking and the beatings he relieves. Huck doesn't have a deep, concrete relationship with his father, but what they do have is very important conflict in the book. Pap is not around for most of Huck's life, only reappearing every once and a while. When he does reappear, he is always drunk. At one point, the town's people think he is dead because they believe they found him drowned on the river; but Huck finds out that Pap is very much alive, when he appears in Huck's room.
After an initial fear, Huck doesn't seem too excited that his father has come back to town because he knows that Pap will try to swindle him out of his six thousand dollars. From this point in the book, Pap is a threat to Huck. Huck likes the fact that Pap hates civility just as much as he does, creating a common ground. When Pap takes Huck away to the cabin, Huck doesn't mind it at first. He says, 'It was kind of lazy and jolly, laying off comfortable all day, smoking and fishing, and no books nor study.' ; (32) He likes being kidnapped because he doesn't have to deal with studying or books, he enjoys the freedom he has.
Although a threat, Huck enjoys certain aspects of his father. Huck realizes he doesn't want to go back to live with the Widow Douglas. When Pap tells Huck that Widow Douglas might be legally adopting him, he replies, 'This shook me up considerable, because I didn't want to go back to the widow's any more and be so cramped, and, as they called it.' ; (34) Huck enjoys living away from society and he agrees with Pap's hatred for civilization. This is the only close bond with his father that he does have though. Huck also feels contempt for his father. He repeatedly mentions times when Pap is going to beat him for such things as going to school, or for just being around.
Huck thinks that, '... by-and-by pap got too handy with his hick " ry and I couldn't stand it.' ; (32) He is scared to death of him when he gets drunk, which is quite often. At one point, when they are in the cabin, a drunk Pap tries to kill Huck with a knife because he believes that Huck is the 'Angel of Death'; . This certainly spurs on Huck's hatred for his father. Another example of Huck's negative feelings for Pap is Huck repeated 'killing off'; of his father.
When he finds himself talking to strangers about his family, he describes his father as dead. For instance when Huck is telling the Grangerford's about his family, he says, '... and he [Pap] was just trimmed down to nothing, on account of his troubles; so when he died I took what was left... .' ; (132). Although these are all lies, this shows the negative feelings towards his father. Huckleberry Finn generally is not fond of his father, yet he does admire his fathers adamant thoughts about civilization, such as his rantings about the corrupt government.
After hearing this, it makes sense that Huck wants nothing to do with civilization. Yet at the same time, he considers Pap a threat, which begins Huck's adventure down the river.