Mr. Bennet and Pap as fathers.
Authors have a great amount of insight into human’s behavior and thought. Jane Austin in “Pride and Prejudice” and Mark Twain in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” express plain and striking points of view about civilized society. Portraying characters with exaggerated negative features they bring to attention some of man’s often concealed shortcomings and vices. Protagonists of both novels have fathers who failed in their primary parental responsibilities.
Jane Austin’s Mr. Bennet is a witty, good-humored and educated country gentleman. He fails to provide a secure financial future for his daughters He sees no need to save money for future because he is expecting a son. As a result, he has 5 daughters with no sufficient dowry. He is also a disappointed man who has no happiness in marriage and who treats his foolish wife and younger daughters as objects of amusement. He is aware of how much his wife and younger daughters compromise themselves in company, but instead of trying to reeducate them he takes to observing their follies as a kind of sport. He seems to enjoy seeing people ridicule themselves in front of others. His fault, however, is that he never realized that by allowing himself to simply be ignorant to and amused with their shortcomings, he has indirectly encouraged and reinforced their behavior. His unwillingness to control Lydia’s improper behavior almost lead to disgrace of his family. It is only due to Darcy’s help that Bennets avoid it. When Lydia runs away with Wickham he realizes that he was too careless in upbringing of his daughters. However his penitence doesn’t last He says to Elizabeth, “Let me once in my life feel how much I have been to blame….It will pass away soon enough.” And he does recovers soon and becomes his usual self.
Pap is not a father- he’s a mess. He’s an immoral, arrogant and ignorant drunkard who is
feeding off of charity and uses his son. He wanders from town to town, begging and drinking, and every once in a while pops back into Huck’s life to beg money and to scold him. Pap sets a horrible example for Huck through drinking, swearing and smoking. He certainly does not provide for his son or even care about him. He is simply a person who likes to have control over another person and uses it for his own selfish gain. He sees Huck only as a property and only wants to be in possession of this property. He’s Huck’s father only biologically. Fathers do not kidnap their children and lock them in the cabin for 3 days. Also, fathers do not abuse their children emotionally, physically or mentally. But Pap does. Huck says, “But by-and-by pap got too handy with his hick’ry, and I couldn’t stand it. I was all over welts. He got to going away so much, too, and locking me in.” He does not possess any ethics, virtues or admirable qualities and, thus, can’t teach his young son anything good. Nevertheless, Pap does teach Huck lessons, but not in the loving way a father should. He teaches Huck what not to be. Huck learns what he wants to be in life by seeing what he doesn’t want to become. Huck learns that whatever his father does is usually wrong and illegal. From Pap Huck learns to steal and to lie. The difference is that unlike his father who lies in hope of personal gain, Huck lies to help others or to get out of a difficult situation. Huck mostly cares for himself. Luckily, Huck is a good and kind kid by nature. He listens to his heart and with guidance of Jim, who becomes like a father to him, Huck learns love, respect and values in life.
It would be preposterous to analogize Mr. Bennet and Pap. Mr. Bennet loves and cares for his daughters. He is a human being while Pap is a parasite of society.