Throughout the story, Mark Twain uses Huck to suggest that “natural life” is more desirable. The entire plot of this novel revolves around Huck and Jim floating down the Mississippi River on a raft and going on adventures each time they come to shore. However, as the story goes on, the reader realizes that when Huck and Jim get off the raft, they constantly meeting criminals and other bad people. Life on the raft is as peaceful as it gets, but when Huck is ashore, he meets slimy people, including the Duke and the King, some of the people involved in the feud, and Colonel Sherburn and Boggs. Huckleberry Finn and Jim also witness some extreme violence, including tarring, feathering, lynching, theft, murder, and quite simply, a lot of death. For example, even the gentle Mary Jane says that the Duke and the King should be “tarred and feathered.” (Twain 190) The fact that Huck sees so much death when he visits civilization goes right back to Twain’s obvious suggestion throughout the story that society is corrupt and unprincipled, and that Huck’s life on the raft is far more attractive. The next example of Huckleberry Finn enjoying the natural life occurs when he is taken away by his father. While he is living with his father he comes to enjoy the uncivilized life more than the way he lived with the Widow, despite the fact that his Pap is an
To begin, Huck’s struggles within the deformed conscience of an entire society leads to his maturation. Throughout the book, Huck struggles within himself whether or not to follow his heart or to follow society’s deformed views. In one situation, Huck begins to feel guilty about helping a runaway slave, Jim, to freedom. Huck narrates, “My conscience got to stirring me up hotter than ever, until at last I says to it, ‘let up on me- it ain’t too late yet- I’ll paddle ashore at first light and tell’” (89). This is just the beginning of Huck’s journey to maturation. This is one of the first times Huck begins to question his heart. Following society’s views, Huck believes he’s doing the wrong thing helping Jim run away, when in fact he is doing the correct action. Later on, Huck continues his battle with his moral compass, and his view of the world. Huck still
In Chapter 16, when Huck sees Jim’s reaction to being near freedom, Huck describes his feeling as, “miserable”, “abusing”, “scorched”, and “die”. Although Jim is happy to face his future, Huck becomes burdened by societal beliefs and more importantly, his own moral values. For Huck, bestowing freedom to a slave is shameful and unethical; no different from one’s “property”. This also implies that Huck values the societies view more than his relationship with Jim. Later on, Huck’s view of the past changes as he separates his own conscience from the societal values. This is seen in chapter 31, when Huck reflects on his journey as “good”, “laughing”, and “best”. Despite conflicting with societal values, Huck was able to enjoy Jim’s companionship. This is a direct result of him starting to believe that Jim is his equivalent and is worthy of being his friend. By referring to slaves as “n*****” and other derogatory dictions earlier in the novel, then calling Jim “white” and using joyful dictions, Twain highlights Huck’s shift in view from the typical societal view that slaves are “properties” to his own belief that people are not inherently
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic novel that takes the reader on a series of thrilling adventures full of life threatening situations, racism, and slavery. The author Mark Twain, uses the novel to highlight the flaws in society by creating a character like Huck, whose personal sense of morals and justice are more noble than those of the very people trying to civilize him.
Authors of classic American literature often utilize a character’s development to establish a worldview or opinion. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby, Mark Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald use their narrators, Huck Finn and Nick Carraway, to suggest an argument about American society. Seeking adventure, both characters embark on a journey, but their encounters with society leave them appalled. While they each have personal motives for abandoning their past, both end up interacting with different cultures that lead them to a similar decision about society and their futures. Ultimately, they stray from the dominant culture in order to escape the influence of society. Therefore, Twain and Fitzgerald claim that American society
The constant complements and conflicts between Huck and society or parts of society lead him to question himself. Huck struggles between siding with society’s standard of right and wrong or his own personal code of ethics but eventually discovers to trust and rely on himself more than worrying about what society thinks he should do. The author, Mark Twain, instills his opinions about ignorance, slavery, and unique consciences into the hearts of the characters he creates to give the reader an exaggerated example of what is wrong with our society and how we can fix it by being
After Huck finds out that Jim is captive, Huck “set down and cried. [He] couldn’t help it” (210). After returning to the raft and not finding Jim there, Huck is overcome with emotion. The fear of Jim not being around causes Huck to realize how important Jim is to him. The friendship they developed on the river and through their adventure causes Huck to be more concerned for Jim’s safety than society’s need to keep Jim captive. Huck, therefore, sees Jim as his friend and ignores society’s expectations to treat him less than human. After tearing up the letter he writes to Miss Watson, Huck “... studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: ‘All right, then, I’ll go to hell’” (214). Huck realizes that Jim is in need of assistance so he decides to do what is morally correct, which is to help Jim escape. Huck decides to act on his morals rather than be held captive by society; Huck believes that he has to act in the best interest of Jim and does not consider what society believes is acceptable behavior. By stating that he will “go to hell,” Huck reiterates what he promises Jim in the beginning- that he rather be a “low down abolitionist”; these statements combined supports his feelings to protect Jim from society. When Huck and Tom get back to the house, Huck states, “...it don’t make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person’s conscience ain’t got no
Mark Twain emphasizes the theme that a person's morals are more powerful than the corrupt influence of society in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Based on how Huck Finn views the world and forms his opinions, he does not know the difference between right and wrong. In the novel, Huck escapes civilized society. He encounters a runaway slave, Jim, and together they travel hopes of freedom. But along the way, Huck and Jim come across troubles that have Huck questioning his motives. Throughout their journey, Huck is aware that Jim has escaped but does not know whether or not to turn him into the authorities. Huck’s mentality about society matures and he realizes his need to protect Jim from dangers. As the novel progresses, Huck begins to realize the flaws in society. Huck ultimately chooses to follow his own
Huckleberry Finn is a story about a rambunctious young boy who adventures off down the Mississippi River. “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain demonstrates a situation where a Huck tries to find the balance between what is right and what is wrong. Huck faces many challenges in which his maturity will play a part in making the correct decision for himself and his friend Jim. Huck becomes more mature by the end of the novel by showing that he can make the correct decisions to lead Jim to the freedom he deserves. One major factor where Huck matures throughout the novel is through his experience. In the beginning of the novel, Huck receives spelling lessons and continues to look for ways to improve his behavior. After meeting up with Tom Sawyer, he
Twain defends the positive aspects of lying and trickery through the means which Huck escapes from the cabin that he is trapped in with his father. Due to his father’s abusive nature, Huck feels the need to escape from his custody before his Pap returns from the town up river. He cuts a hole out of the cabin, leaves a trail of pig blood, makes it look like a robbery gone wrong, and leaves scents to divert the search dogs. Huck ends the endeavor by saying that “they won’t sift the river for anything but my dead carcass”(34). While this type of lying seems immoral without context, the abusive nature of Huck’s father makes the reader support and root for Huck to succeed. The most outstanding example of Huck lying to protect Jim comes once the Duke and King are introduced, and in order to protect Jim, Huck weaves the tale of how his father, brother, and Jim were “... going down to Orleans on [the raft]” but “Pa’s luck didn’t hold out…” which saved Jim from being sold by these two con men (125-126). This begins to challenge the traditional view of morality, and makes the reader proud of Huck’s actions. Twain uses Huckleberry Finn in these scenes to challenge the societal belief that lying is bad without exception, and builds a stark contrast between moral and immoral lying. By constructing this scene soon
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.
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.
Wanda Sykes once quoted, “If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and do it.” This exhibits the idea of not letting others hold you back from pursuing a personal desire, or having a passion. Countless amounts of people follow what everyone else believes, but do not seem to recognize the truth behind what they’re following. Similarly, within The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and “Antigone,” both characters have a devotion for a specific situation. Additionally, these two literary characters have a strong passion, but ultimately face different opponents. Huck faces the horrors of society as a whole, while Antigone faces her uncle. To clarify, rebellious Huckleberry
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.
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.