Evil In Huckleberry Finn Analysis

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Evil is often administered consciously, however, sometimes one’s naïveté could lead to the destruction of others. Zimbardo states the following: “Evil is the exercise of power… To intentionally harm people… and to commit crimes against humanity.” In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, some would claim that Tom is considered evil too. Although Tom seems to be “evil” towards the end of the novel since he purposefully prolonged the Jim’s liberation, he is simply a naive child whose imaginations take the best of him.

Tom’s approach in everyday life is partly due to his imaginative mind. Because of all the books he reads, Tom’s creativity expands, and he searches for an adventure quite often to satisfy it. Though the readers are presented
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He has relatives that own several slaves and “was a boy that was respectable, and well brung up” (242). It can be inferred that he sees African-Americans the way the South would perceive them—inferiors. He does not see it as inherently wrong for no one would tell him otherwise and that he is not granted with any personal interaction with them like Huck had. Therefore, it can’t be concluded that Tom deliberately committed a crime against Jim’s humanity as Zimbardo stated. He didn’t know any better than any child would in this situation; he is merely acting the way he was brought up within a Southern society, in which they do think of blacks as property, hence, they pay no mind to how their actions would affect the latter’s psyche. Furthermore, when Tom’s aunt Sally speaks of Jim’s enslavement, he boldly counters that “[Jim] ain’t no slave, he’s as free as any cretur that walks on this earth… I mean every word I say… and if somebody don’t go, I’ll go [free him]. I’ve knowed him all his life ” (291). Tom would even rightfully defend Jim’s free status and is prepared to fight anyone who contradicts. He also has the power of controlling Jim’s fate by keeping quiet about the news of Jim’s status but chose not to. His declaration subtly implies that he has no problem whatsoever with a black man gaining his freedom; he actually stands by with such a decision and does not argue that they shouldn 't be free of…show more content…
At first glance, Tom is perceived as a character who purposefully wills for transgressions to be done upon Jim or any other individual. However, if one looks closely, he’s merely a child acting on his need for an adventure and is naive. He does not look closely on the ethics of his actions concerning African-Americans for all he saw in his life is them being treated nothing more than properties and not as individuals with sentiments; he is not aware that his actions would have such a repercussion. If Tom is perhaps “evil,” then it is a product of the evils of his
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