Huck Finn Civilized Analysis

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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,…show more content…
When Huck steps away from his cocoon on the raft, he witnesses the Duke and the Dauphin's attempt to sell Jim, Huck’s loyal runawayformer-slave friend, back into slavery. Huck is confused by the men’s desire to sell Jim, but eventually concludes that he “will go to hell” to defend his friend (223). Huck’s tenacity and unwillingness to let Jim, his loyal companion, remain in the socially acceptable slavery, as well as his willingness to sacrifice his spiritual well-being to save his friend, conveys the idea that Huck disapproves of slavery and its principles. Huck’s situation, which exposes him to the heartless nature of society, is caused by the conniving actions of the Dauphin. The Dauphin is a con-man, who to feed his drinking habit, sells Jim for forty dollars. The Dauphin’s actions disgust Huck, who was previously blissfully unaware of society’s harsh and cruel nature. Huck, by ripping up his letter to Ms. Watson, and vowing to “steal Jim out of slavery again,” refuses to conform to the society and slavery (223). Huck’s non-conformist attitude conveys his progressiveness and emphasizes society’s archaic view on slavery. Thus, Huck’s experience with the Duke and Dauphin, shows him the cruel reality of slavery as well as the heartless reality of society. Before his experience on land, Huck remained conscious of, but not fully aware of heartless actions.…show more content…
In his encounter with Sherburn, Huck witnesses Sherburn kill Boggs in cold blood. While Huck does not explicitly react to the incident, he utilizes dramatic language to convey his opinions. Huck says that Boggs “tumbles backward with his arms spread out” (159). Such description is uncharacteristic for Huck. In addition, Huck refrains from using his dialect in this passage, and instead uses standardfull English. Huck notes that the townspeople clamor to view the body; they are not so much affected by the murder but rather by not being able to see the body, claiming that “other folks has their rights as well as you” (159). The incident with Sherburn and Boggs reminds Huck that society and humans are cruel, vicious, and unforgiving. Huck also notes that the mob gathers “yelling and raging like Injuns,” with the reference to Native Americans symbolizing an uncivilized and “savage” group of people (161). After Sherburn’s speech to the crowd about courage, Huck says “I could a staid, if I’d a wanted to, but I didn't want to,” which shows his eagerness to flee the cruel, savage and ruthless society and return to his utopian raft (162). Huck’s experience with Sherburn and Boggs reinforces to Huck that society is cruel and ruthless, and once again contrasts Huck’s strong morals, compassion, and maturity.
Huck, through his experiences on land, develops the view that society
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