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,
After leaving the feud, Huck comes back to the safety of the raft and says to Jim, “We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft” (116). For Huck, the raft is a safe and secure spot; with Jim on the raft, Huck feels protected and that he has a dependable friend. As Huck spends more time with Jim, he begins to see Jim as more human and someone he can trust.
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.
So, when Huck picks up Jim, a recently escaped slave, and heads up the Mississippi River, he gets nervous when Jim begins to talk about how he will soon be free and plans to buy, or even steal, his wife and children. This was during a time where Huck would be committing a crime by helping a slave escape. He has a difficult time deciding to be loyal to his friend and let Jim continue up the rest of the way up north so that he can be freed, or to turn Jim in as an escaped slave. Huck fears getting in trouble, but he also is very torn because of the relationship that he now has with Jim. Huck’s askew sense of sympathy and morality are conflicting each other.
Twain’s mockery of religious hypocrisy, mob mentality, and racism reflect the ways that he was disappointed in the human race. Huck battles constantly with the disconnect between societal ideals and what he innately believes, the latter eventually triumphing. Twain conveys that an individual has to choose for themselves what to believe and how to act, rather than parrot concepts of right and wrong from religion or surrender one’s beliefs to a crowd. Ultimately, the novel questions the established hierarchy of race in civilization and encourages the readers to do the
“Among many disparate attempts by scholars and critics to explicate The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, at least two interpretations have met with general acceptance: 1) the feud of the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons...represents a literally fatal flaw in the chivalric code of a decadent Southern aristocracy, and... Huck's desire to escape the strictures of civilization by seeking the relative freedom from social restraint represented by the river and the territories” (Hoy, 17). In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses a satirical approach to initially reveal the truths about the Grangerfords; however, these initial truths build to expose the aristocratic values of a southern family and how their views reformed Huck’s outlook on
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.
Throughout the exciting escapades in the story The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the conflicts and complements between individuals and society are constantly shown in the book especially when dealing with matters of conscience and personal principles of right or wrong. The author, Mark Twain, shows his point of view on these uncertainties by developing an internal struggle in the main character Huckleberry Finn to help give the reader a better idea of his own morals. Mark Twain has a lot of opinions about society and he conveys these opinions through his characters. One opinion about ignorance is shown in the following example: When Pap returns to town, he demands ownership of Huck. Huck refuses to stay with Pap, but society (in the form of the new judge) imposes the rule that Huck should rightfully be with Pap.
Their friendship enables them to overcome each of their tribulations as they make sacrifices for each other when called for. Huck, as a trickster from his early age, manipulates each of their situations for their own good and even succeeds in liberating his friend from being taken back to captivity (Twain, 102). If indeed the measure of friendship is valued by the way the other person makes you feel about yourself, then Huck and Jim had an expensive asset in their
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.
Once he runs away from his father, Huck lives on a river with Jim. The river symbolizes freedom, and it becomes symbolic of Huck's journey to discover his natural virtue. In Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the author develops Huck's conscience and morality through the characters
Overall, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, criticizes the moral conditioning of society. Twain utilizes situational irony, mockery, and absurdity to satirize racism through Huck’s journey. Twain’s use of stereotypes uncovers racial hypocrisy by criticizing the way society has taught young kids to think about black people. Twain uses irony to mock the way the government treats slaves and African
Every person encompasses their own unique opinion. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck Finn possesses a conscience that makes him one of the most important and recognizable figures in American literature. However, Claudia Durst Johnson, a critic, believes that because of Huck’s actions the novel “is one of the most radical and darkly bitter books in the American canon. It represents the breaking of federal law as moral. It recommends disobedience and defiance on the part of young people.”
On the other hand, Huck was lack the care of a father. That’s why Huck completely changed his mind as to his attitude towards Jim. Moreover, Huck uttered “We said there warn 't no home like a raft.” (173) Here, they began to draw a similarity between the raft and their home. In fact, they viewed the raft as their home.
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.