How Is Huck Finn A Moral Model

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Morality plays an important role in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck Finn is an uneducated, thirteen-year-old boy who does not necessarily know the difference between right and wrong, yet often makes the right choices throughout the novel. While Huck often accidentally does good, some people do not see this as an indication that he is a morally good person. On the other hand, Jim is a slave who almost always does the right thing, but we are not inclined to see Jim as a moral model because he is a slave. However, those who focus too heavily on Huck’s morality misunderstand Twain, as he views Jim, not Huck, as the moral model of the novel.
While some people view Huck as a moral model, others do not. However, everyone agrees
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However, he soon realizes that he wants to be with Jim, so he decides to help him, even if he will go to hell for it. This is just one scenario where Huck does the right thing despite his conscious’ wishes, showing why there is a debate over whether Huck is a good person.
One author who does not see Huck as a moral model is Jonathan Bennett. Bennett says, in his essay, “The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn,” that it is not enough for Huck to be a morally good person as he lacks the moral vocabulary of someone who is morally good. Bennett’s essay focuses on the concept of a bad morality, a morality whose
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However, Huck Finn does not even follow his own “bad” morality at times, such as when he agrees to help Jim escape. For us, our morality and our sympathy would tell us to help Jim escape. For Huck, his morality tells him that helping Jim escape is wrong, but his sympathy for Jim wins, so he helps him escape. Bennett argues that Huck “hasn’t the strength of will to do what he believes to be right” and that he has the “the spunk of a rabbit” (Bennett 126). Since Huck simply ignores his moral principle but accidentally does the right thing, he is not a morally good person. Bennett believes that for actions to be an indication of your own moral worth, you need to be conscious of the way you did them and understand the moral principles behind them otherwise you will not act the right way every time. Since Huck does good by accident, he will not act the right way next time, which makes him unreliable and morally unworthy. On the other hand, Nomy Arpaly argues in her essay, “Moral Worth,” that Huck is a morally good person because he has a good heart, even though he lacks a conscience. She defines this concept as inverse akrasia which refers to the “phenomenon in which an agent does the right thing, but does so against his best
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