During the chapters of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn where the Grangerfords are present, there is humor, sadness, and allusion to Romeo and Juliet. Humor can be seen through the feud between the Grangerfords and Sheperdsons. At one point when Huck is staying with the Grangerfords he attends church with them. Both the Grangerfords and Sheperdsons bring guns to church, while Huck says the sermon “was pretty ornery preaching – all about brotherly love and such-like tiresomeness; but everybody said it was a good sermon…” (Twain 111). This is ironic in the fact that both the Grangerfords and Sheperdsons will go around and kill one of the members of the other family if they so please. Also both families had brought guns to church, which is a bit of a weird occurrence, because church is supposed to be a peaceful place and the preacher even preached about love.
Sadness can be seen through Emmeline Grangerford. When Emmeline died her family "kept Emmeline's room trim and nice, and all the things fixed in it just the way she liked it" (Twain 106). This is a depressing aspect of her family never moving forward, and accepting her death. In a way, by keeping her room the way nice, and the way she would have liked it, is like the Grandgerfords are still hoping that Emmeline will come back and stay in her room. Also, Emmeline herself was a pretty sad character. Huck even felt bad for her, saying "Poor Emmeline made poetry about all the dead people when she was alive, and it didn't seem right that there warn't nobody to make some about her now she was gone; so I tried to sweat out a verse or two myself , but I couldn't seem to make it go somehow" (Twain 106). Even before her death, Emmeline had death surrounding her, which can be morbid and strange for a fourteen year old girl.
The allusion to Romeo and Juliet can be seen through the pointless feud between the Grangerfords and Sheperdsons. The families do not even remember why they are fighting. When Huck asked about why one of the Grangerfords killed one of the Sheperdsons, they said that "'Him? He never done nothing to me.' 'Well, then, what did you want to kill him for?' 'Why, nothing--only it's on account of the feud'" (Twain 109). Even though the Grangerfords and Sheperdsons go around killing one another, they do not know why they are even feuding; it is just something that has always been done. This is just like Romeo and Juliet in that the families are feuding, and just go around killing one another for no good reason. Also, they do not know why they are fighting, they just are.