Huck has a very interesting and honest view of people in charge. His father was in charge of him and mistreated him and the courts put him back in the hands of his father. He had no reason to trust authority and at every turn the book and Huck’s observations seem to accentuate the fact that authority figures are all the same, corrupt and untrustworthy. Huck is in his own way a vigilante going on his adventures and defining his own sense of what is wrong and right. His interactions with “The Duke” and “The King” were the most defining of his views of people who run obtain any source of power of influence in society.
Huck sees through the charade of them claiming any royal blood but allows them their illusions, “If I never learnt nothing else out of pap, I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way (Twain 115).” He lets the men have the illusion of grandeur because that need when not met can be dangerous to those around them.
He even says to Jim that it’s in their nature, the way they are. They cannot help to be so cruel because it was in their blood and that they’re all alike. He compares them directly to kings and dukes as if they were really of the blood. To Huck it isn’t so much the upbringing, but the need to be in power. Huck and Jim are different because they do not need to rule over any one else. That the desire to rule is what makes them corrupt and shameful to the human race.
That is the real danger of this book. It directly calls out those who want to be in power. It shows those in power and those who crave it as being cruel. Huck even says of The Duke and The King’s actions, “It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race (Twain 148).” Huck feels guilty about turning on Jim because he does nothing but good. And Huck is able to make the distinction based on actions rather than race because of his upbringing. He learned at a young age that anyone can be cruel and to take those who only show kindness to others for the miracles that they are. He does everything he can to get Jim free and feels no qualms when he see The King and The Duke tar and feathered. He momentarily feels guilty but is able to continue on his way with no further thought of the cruel men.