Difference Between Huck and Tom

Huck vs Tom

For those who do not know, Huck and Tom are the characters in the novel Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written by Mark Twain. These two characters remain the most popular pair of characters in all American literature till date. Though Tom and Huck have many adventures together and appear to be similar in many ways, they do differ from one another in many respects. This article attempts to highlight the differences between Huck and Tom for the benefit of the readers.


Huckleberry Finn, or simply Huck, is an orphan like his friend Tom Sawyer. But the two are poles apart in every aspect of life. Despite not having a father, Tom lives in a home with an aunt who loves him and his boyish pranks. She cares for his welfare and allows a lot of freedom to Tom to indulge in his escapades. In a sense, Tom can be said to be belonging to the high society. Despite a loving aunt at home, Tom does not like the interference of Aunt Douglas, who is a widow, in his life and desires to take care of himself. Of course, Tom goes to school and is seen getting invited to parties thrown by others.


Huck lives like an orphan though he has his father. This is because his father is a drunkard and has left him for good. Huck has to arrange food for himself and this is why he is seen in the novel roaming here and there, and often sleeping in strange places like a barn or even a cardboard box. Huck has to wear what others have discarded. He is mostly barefoot and does not go to school. Huck does not have a responsibility and is hardly missed by anyone. This is why he is seen disappearing from the city frequently as he thrives on his freedom and does not have to conform to the laws or the norms of the society. Huck does not have any qualms about stealing or picking up things. However, Huck has grown up to be a more practical boy than Tom who learns everything in his school.

What is the difference between Huck and Tom?

• Tom is a member of high society, whereas Huck is very poor and lives all by himself.

• Huck is carefree and practical, whereas Tom is dependent upon others.

• Huck is logical, whereas Tom is a daydreamer as a result of having read far too many novels and stories.

• Tom chastises Huck for having no sense of imagination and thrill.

• Tom is less mature than Huck.

• Tom is a conformist, whereas Huck is an outcast and a carefree individual.

• Tom is hypocritical as on the one hand he plays pranks and has vivid imaginations and schemes, and on the other hand, he knows and fears the rules of the society and conforms to them.

• Despite being an outcast, Huck’s decency is innate and not made up one.