Examples Of Cruelty In Huckleberry Finn

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“It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another” (Twain). In the satire, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, cruelty is used in many different forms to affect an individual and his/her morals. It is true that human beings are cruel, whether in a purposeful way or not. Mark Twain utilizes cruelty to suggest that an individual’s morality is influenced by society; a person’s morals will adapt to match sociocultural norms rather than remaining unique to each individual regardless of their surroundings. Initially, cruelty is shown in the satire through Huck and his father, Pap. Huck grew up in a violent home with Pap who was an alcoholic and extremely abusive. Although Huck later escaped from this situation, it was …show more content…

Huck is conflicted with his morality and deciding what’s right and wrong while he explains how impactful cruelty can be on an individual. Huck mentions, “I got aboard the raft, feeling bad and low, because I knowed very well I had done wrong, and I see it warn’t no use for me to try to learn to do right; a body that don’t get started right when he’s little, ain’t got no show- when the pinch comes there ain’t nothing to back him up and keep him to his work, and so he gets beat” (Twain). Huck depicts the idea that your morality is based on childhood experiences; if you’re taught what’s right, you’ll do what’s right and if you’re taught what’s wrong, you’ll do what’s wrong. Huck grew up in Pap’s cruelty, which means Huck’s morality is similar to Pap’s. Huck believes that he will be beat, because that’s all he knows. Huck continues, “what’s the use you learning to do right when it’s troublesome to do right, and ain’t no trouble to do wrong” (Twain). Huck begins to adapt to sociocultural norms throughout the satire, and his morality changes from doing what’s right, to knowing what’s right and wrong; he chooses to follow the sociocultural norms and do what’s wrong because it’s less …show more content…

Mark Twain uses the river as an escape from society. The river symbolizes freedom and flexibility, which Huck can’t find anywhere else. Huck specified, “we was gliding downstream, all dark and still, and edging towards the middle of the river, nobody saying a word” (Twain). The river gave Huck a sense of freedom and peace, where he could forget about societal influences and just be himself on a raft where he felt “mighty free and easy and comfortable” (Twain). When Huck is surrounded by the social norms he gives in, however when he is away from social influences, he feels destructive and alone. Twain makes the reader think this on page seventy-two when Huck states, “I begun to think how dreadful it was, even for murderers, to be in such a fix. I says to myself, there ain’t no telling but I might come to be a murderer myself, yet, and then how would I like it?” (Twain). Although Huck finds the river as a place of freedom, and rest away from society, he is also lonesome and self-destructive. The river becomes unpredictable and is no longer a free place for Huck. Twain uses this to explain that no matter how hard an individual tries to stand up for their morals, it is easier to fall in to social norms and be influenced by

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