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Louis-Ferdinand Céline

The King and The Duke—These two con men play an important role in the development of Huck’s character. While Huck finds them both to be despicable, he also shows a kind of brotherly concern for them. He also does not mind giving into the whims or referring to them as “your grace” or “your majesty.” Huck understands that with types like these it is best to let them have their way.

As the king and the duke cause trouble, however, Huck tries to shake their companionship. At times he even hopes to see them jailed. Yet, in the end, he attempts to save them from being tarred and feathered, only to find that (as with the robbers on the wrecked steamer) he has arrived too late. While their punishment may be fitting, Huck still concludes that it is a cruel treatment on anyone’s part, and that evil should not be repaid with evil. Balanced against the king and the duke, Huck shows an impressive good nature.

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