people based on their physical traits, such as skin color, and genetics. Race can be used as a mechanism for social division. As the novel unfolds, Huckleberry Finn’s perspective on race changes as he sees the importance for equality in Mark Twain’s, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Jim teaches Huck that others will judge solely based on skin color. Twain shows this by saying, "The ni***r run off the very night Huck Finn was killed. So there's a reward out for him - three hundred dollars" (Twain 67). This quotation is showing how the people are quick to assume that just because they both coincidentally went missing around the same time that Jim was the one to "kill" Huck. Throughout the novel, Twain includes the word “ni***r.” This word choice shows how harsh the rest of humanity was towards African Americans. They said, “The ni***r run off… there’ a reward for him” which is showing how they all were very quick to assume Jim should be blamed for it. If a white man would have gone missing, nobody would have even thought about it, but since he’s black, they all assume the worst about him. These quotes show how Jim is Telling Huck about Miss Watson and how she feels about Jim being an African American slave. Jim says, "but she could git eight hund'd dollars for me, en it 'uz sich a big stack o' money she couldn' resis'" (Twain 54). Later on, Jim says to Huck, "Yes; en I's rich now, come to look at it. I owns myself, en I's wuth eight hund'd dollars" (Twain 58). In these quotes Jim is talking about how his white owner wanted to sell him to get the money that he is worth. Jim takes what she says and looks at it from a different perspective. Jim says to Huck, "en I's wuth eight hund'd dollars." When Jim says this he is teaching Huck two different morals: one that being racist is wrong but two if the world looks down on you, you can turn something bad into good. The rest of the population just thinks that Jim is a piece of property and is only good for money. Jim teaches Huck tat that is not the way to look at things and to not be a part of racial
Civilization, and being “civilized” are topics that have been debated for centuries. In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, Huck Finn journeys down the Mississippi River and witnesses many of society’s facets. During his adventures, Huck experiences the negative aspects of the human race and witnesses slavery, racism, and con-men. However, Huck himself is considered uncivilized to the point where the Widow Douglas can only attempt to “sivilize” Huck (13). The dichotomy between what was considered civilized at the time and what Huck believes is civilized represents the backwards, violent, and cruel nature of society as well as Huck’s progressiveness. Civilizationed, in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, involves violence, theft,
In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck and Jim bond closely to one another, regardless of the fact that they belong to different ethnic groups. Huck, a coming-of-age teenage boy, lives in the Southern antebellum society which favors slavery. At the beginning of the book, Twain claims that “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; and persons attempting to find a plot will be shot” (Twain 2). Ironically, through his experiences with Jim, the uncivilized Huck gradually establishes his own moral beliefs, although sometimes struggling against the influence of society.
The river in the novel, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is a significant place where rules of society are forgotten and Huck and Jims relationship is built. While on the river, Huck seems to put aside everything he has learned from society and forms a strong relationship with a black slave, all in his willing. Society has no influence on Huck while traveling on the river which allows his friendship with Jim expand overtime.
In the text, The Ethical Life, by Russ Shafer-Landau, it questions Jonathan Bennett’s morality and sympathy and how the two of them can come into conflict. Morality and sympathy are connected, but still very different. Throughout this chapter, Jonathan Bennett outlines many important points and factors that go into these connections and how they can overlap and conflict.
Individuals often say that the right way may not necessarily be the popular way, but standing up for the right thing, despite it being frowned upon, will be the true test of one’s moral character. This relates to the moral growth that Huck Finn experiences throughout his journey. Mark Twain’s controversial novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, can be said to be a compelling story about how one individual, Huck Finn, goes against society’s ideals. Huck’s moral development can be said to be based primarily on those around him, especially Jim. Many instances also influence Huck’s morals, particularly during the raft journey that will change his beliefs and morals. Although there are numerous instances where Huck’s moral growth can be seen, the individuals around such as Jim, will influence his moral growth greatly.
Slaves in the 1800s were seen as dim, ignorant people, underestimated by the white culture. In Huck’s story, the reader can see a different side of slaves. A side that has not been shown in history textbooks, or taught frequently by teachers of the sort. Jim in the novel demonstrates the cleverness, the quick-wittedness, and the overall intelligence of an individual in the face of extreme adversity. The minstrel mask is what covers the world from seeing Jim’s humanity. Jim uses his minstrel mask to hide his true nature, to allow himself to be underestimated, and be able to accomplish what he needs to be done.
Chp.31). As Huck and Jim navigate down the Mississippi River, sharing narrow escapes and miracles, their bond develops. Huck comes to love and respect Jim, but the notion of doing the “right” thing tells him to turn Jim in. From his bringing up, he believes he has a moral obligation to turn Jim in, because Jim is Miss Watson’s ‘property’. But, reminiscing of his Journey with Jim and “how good he always was”, Huck denies the moral code society placed upon him and decides he will do everything to go save Jim. Smiley says that throughout the entire story “Twain really saw Jim as no more than Huck’s sidekick”, as "Jim is never autonomous never has a vote, always finds his purposes subordinate to Huck's, and, like every good sidekick, he never minds” (Smiley). Yet, we see in Huck’s moral dilemma, how he understands how great and amazing of a person that Jim is when they were “floating along talking, and singing, and laughing”, that he finally defeats the concept of Jim being just a ‘sidekick’ or a slave (HF. Chp 31). Huck truly sees Jim as his equal when he commits his entirety to saving Jim, getting mad that to society, Jim amounted only to “forty dirty dollars” (HF. Chp 31). Although he considers turning Jim in and struggles against the constant thought because society would get angry “that Huck Finn helped a nigger to get his freedom” and he would be condemned “to everlasting fire” , we see a person able to defeat mainstream conventions and strive for what he as an individual believes stands as truly right (HF. Chp 31). Smiley claims that the story is only “lighting out for the territory" for racism, but without first convincing the majority of people to judge people by their value rather than what
American society hardly changed socially after the Civil War, with the majority of the U.S. population holding incredibly racist views on black Americans, not specifically limited to the South. Pap’s racism in Huck Finn is insight into the creation of racists across generations, from parent to child. Racism hardly changed after the Civil War, especially in southern states. This racism had begun generations earlier, taught from parent to child over the decades. Racism could not be completely eradicated in the States with ease due to a large older population raising children to hold prejudice views. Twain features this unfortunate cycle in Huck Finn: Pap rambles on about racist topics right in front of his son. Pap describes how he is disappointed in his country for allowing black people to vote, among other
Everyone wants a father figure, but the person who takes on the role of being a father is not always who is expected. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jim, an African American slave, is a father figure to Huck, a young white boy. Jim acts as a father by protecting Huck from dangers and risks during their journey. Jim is also a father to Huck by teaching him lessons about right and wrong. Lastly, Jim is comparable to a father through the love that he expresses toward Huck. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain expresses how Jim is more of a father to Huck than Pap through Jim’s protection, lessons, and love.
Huck realizes that he is committing an illegal act by helping a slave, who is also his friend. Huck expresses his guiltiness by saying, “It stayed with me, and scorched me...I tried to make out to myself that I warn’t to blame, because I didn’t run Jim off” (87). Society made Huck believe that all blacks are horrible creatures and any contact with them is a sin. The word ‘scorched’ connotes the guiltiness embedded in Huck by society. Huck has been burned with the idea that he is to blame for Jim’s escape. Huck ultimately feels guilty because he knows he has not done wrong but he has no reason not to believe what society thinks because he was only taught one way. Huck imagines an alternate scenario, thinking “s’pose [he]’d’ a’ done right and give Jim up, would [he] felt better...No…[he'd] feel bad” (91). Huck is aware that the right decision based on society is to give up Jim. Huck’s thoughts represent his conscience overruling society and his emotions are more influential. Huck begins to see a glimpse of how he is working against
Throughout his novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain exposes many themes that related well with the 1880s America during which Twain wrote the novel. Many important themes are at the center of the book, such as the conflict between civilization and Huck’s “natural life”. However, the most well-known thematic aspect of this novel is the inclusion of racism and slavery in that day’s society. Twain’s perspective on slavery and ideas regarding racism had been a source of debate. This theme of racism and slavery and Twain’s perception of it is developed throughout the “plot” events of the book.
In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huckleberry Finn and a runaway slave Jim are two people that cross paths and become friends. Huck is a boy escaping society and society's morals. Jim is also escaping from society's laws to gain his freedom. Jim and Huck develop a close relationship during their journey on the raft and the relationship could be viewed as a father-son relationship. Jim is portrayed as a father figure to Huck because of Jim’s caring nature and always looking out for Huck. The relationship between Huck and Jim grows strong throughout the novel due to the journey down the Mississippi river, Huck’s evolution, and Pap’s treatment of Huck.
In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the reader gauges morality through the misadventures of Huck and Jim. Notably, Huck morally matures as his perspective on society evolves into a spectrum of right and wrong. Though he is still a child, his growth yields the previous notions of immaturity and innocence. Likewise, Mark Twain emphasizes compelling matters and issues in society, such as religion, racism, and greed. During the span of Huck’s journey, he evolves morally and ethically through his critique of societal normalities.