In many works of literature, the narrator is longing and searching for something different. This is the case with Huckleberry Finn in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Huckleberry is a young boy who thoroughly enjoys adventure, freedom and excitement but yet seems to be longing for something else. He appears to be searching for the security and comfort that a family provides yet this happiness eludes him. When presented with the opportunity to remain in a family environment, Huck finds that he cannot or will not adjust to the situation. Throughout his adventures, he gradually begins to learn what being part of a family means to him.
Early in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck is adopted by the Widow Douglas, a kind but strict woman who lives with her sister, Miss Watson. Widow Douglas and Miss Watson try to "sivilize" Huck, but Huck has difficulty adjusting to his new life of cleanliness, manners, church, and school. This is Huck's first family and home, but because he cannot adjust, he decides to leave, "when I couldn't stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied." Huck is a child of the wild and feels uneasy in the atmosphere of the home of Widow Douglas and Miss Watson. He has never had a home or family, but the home of the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson is no cozier to him than nature itself. He feels even worse in the house because he has to play by foreign rules. He has to accept religion, follow rules, wear clean clothes, and he is not supposed to smoke. Huck does not like this life, "I went up to my room and tried to think of something cheerful, but it warn't no use. I felt so lonesome I most wished I was dead" (Twain I).
Later, Pap, Huck's drunken father appears, demanding Huck's money, which Huck found in a cave on one of his earlier adventures. Pap eventually kidnaps Huck and takes him to his cabin across the river.