Conscience In Huckleberry Finn

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In order to judge a person’s conscience, it is vital to understand what one is. As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, a conscience is “the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions, or character, together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good”. Having a pure or guilty conscience is something people struggle with daily. One’s conscience can be influenced or swayed in both positive and negative ways. Personal experiences, new relationships, and the growth of decision making are qualities that alter someone’s conscience. Fortunately for mankind, people's consciences have a pattern of improving over time as people mature and develop. In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain takes readers through…show more content…
One might argue that Huck's conscience isn't completely tainted because he is friends with Jim, a slave. However, throughout the beginning of the story, Hucks poor conscience and lack of judgement is displayed, while often lying to anyone he meets, even to his own family. When Huck is faced with a difficult decision, he prefers not to be dishonest, "Please take it," says I, "and don't ask me nothing—then I won't have to tell no lies" (19). Huck shows a glimpse of hope for the future and redemption. He states he prefers not to lie, proving there is a chance he will listen to that side. When Huck realizes his deadbeat father is back in town looking for money, he tells his father, “I hain't got no money." "It's a lie. Judge Thatcher's got it. You got it. I want it." "I hain't got no money, I tell you. You ask Judge Thatcher; he'll tell you the same” (24). Huck learns to be dishonest at such a young age, it begins to alter his conscience in a negative way. By lying, Huck plants the seed of an impure conscience, something difficult to renew. When Huck strolls into town dressed as a girl, a lady asks him, “What did you say your name was, honey?" "M—Mary Williams." "Honey, I thought you said it was Sarah when you first come in?" "Oh, yes'm, I did. Sarah Mary Williams. Sarah's my first name. Some calls me Sarah, some calls me Mary" (63). Without even questioning it for a second, Huck’s initial reaction is to be untruthful. This proves his conscience is contaminated because he doesn't have the ability to be truthful, even to a person he just
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