In this selected passage Huck decides he is not going to send the letter he wrote to Miss Watson with the intention of turning Jim in. Huck initially writes the letter because he is thinking about God and his state of sin, as he believes he is committing a sin by stealing another person’s property. He never sends the letter because he realized how much he trusts Jim and doesn’t see him as his property, but rather as a best friend. Previously he has stayed with Jim because it was easy, but this scene marks the time when he is able to stay by Jim’s side even when he believes it will come at a great personal cost. The duke and the king are not a good example for humanity. After Jim and Huck thought they were free, the Duke helped the King sell Jim back to slavery for forty dollars. Huck cannot enjoy his freedom knowing that Jim is not free. Huck was thinking about sending the letter to Miss Watson but he could …show more content…
This transition is the result of the extended period of time that the two spend together, which allows Huck to look past the differences that he has been taught to observe for his entire life and view Jim for what he is; a fellow man. By the end of this passage, Huck’s resolve to do right by Jim is so strong that he is willing to suffer eternal damnation rather than betray Jim. Perhaps Huck’s most important statement in this passage is “Alright then, I’ll go to hell”; here he decides he’s willing to go to hell for eternity rather than causing Jim to return to his life as a slave. At first Huck just thought of Jim the property of another person, a good to be bought and sold regardless of any evidence that he was a human being. As they travel together, this viewpoint is gradually weakened by examples of Jim’s humanity, culminating in a model shift that goes against everything Huck has been taught about the societal status of a
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Huck starts to seriously consider turning Jim in. While he does not believe in slavery, he is deeply disturbed by the idea of Jim stealing his children away from their owner. Despite the paternal bond between Jim and his children, Huck does not believe he should have the right to them, since they are owned by someone else. Huck literally states that he thinks lower of Jim for this, saying, “I was sorry to hear Jim say that, it was such a lowering of him,” (Twain). This is ironic, since Huck’s father was given rights to him purely based on blood but he believes Jim should not be allowed custody of his children based purely off of his social standing.
When Huck hears this from Jim, it tares at Huck. He decides not to turn in Jim (which he could have done easily.) Huck’s conscience basically ate him alive. Huck was on the verge of turning in Jim, and seemed that was what he should do. However after thinking about it, Huck decided he would feel worse if he turned Jim in as opposed to keeping him free.
By the end of the book, he had started to realize that he really did care about Jim. Huck is writing Miss Watson a letter towards the end of the book talking about where Jim is and how she can get him back. After writing the letter, Huck starts to think about the good times he had with Jim and says that “...somehow I couldn’t seem to strike no places for me to harden against him, but only the other kind.”(213). This was the most powerful part in the book for me because after thinking of all the good that Jim has brought him, he tears up the paper and says “All right, then, I’ll go to hell”(214). In Huck’s mind, he had the choice to send the letter and go to heaven or to try to save Jim and go to Hell for doing the wrong thing as far as the widow taught him.
When they believed that his family is sick they said, “we are right down sorry for you, but we—well, hang it, we don’t want the smallpox” (91). The response of the two gentlemen instead of helping Huck was to give him money and send him elsewhere because they weren’t willing to put themselves at risk in anyway. Twain is asserting that people in society are constantly pressuring Huck to act in a civilized manner but are unable to act that way themselves. As a result of this, Huck is able to take advantage of the slave hunters’ selfishness in order to protect Jim even after his attack of conscience. We recognize that in this moment Huck is capable of resisting the rules of society and can see Jim as a person, not as property.
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.
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. Jim, a runaway slave, is the most influential individual when it comes to Huck’s moral development. During the beginning of the novel, Huck’s morals are primarily based on what he has learned from Miss Watson. Huck begins to become wary of such ideals that Miss Watson has imposed on him, and decided all he wanted “…was a change” (Twain 10).
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 Finn felt guilty and sympathized for Miss Watson when he steals her slave because she never did anything wrong to Huck. Miss Watson treated him well and tried to make Huck a better person. Huck believes that stealing her slave will condemn him to hell. Huck realizes that Jim treated him well and carded for him as a father figure and decided he will go to hell. At first, Huck is very muddled about what the appropriate thing to do is.
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.
Jim then ends up in New Orleans on a farm owned by Silas Phelps. Huck, trying to be the helpful, brainstorms a plan to better Jim’s life. As Huck goes through this process, he becomes the epiphany of Confucius’s character quote; “Earnest in practicing the ordinary virtues, and careful in speaking about them, if, in his practice, he has anything defective, the superior man dares not but exert himself; and if, in his words, he has any excess, he dares not allow himself such license” (ReligFacts.com). At first Huck delineates a plan to write a letter to Jim’s former slave owner, Miss Watson, and tell her where Jim was. But he concluded that Miss Watson would probably have been angry with Jim and sell him off into slavery, so he decided not to.
But Huck also feels like he can not turn Jim in because deep down he knows that Jim’s life will be better not being a slave. This shows that Huck battles between himself whether to follow society’s rules or his own morlas. When Huck chooses to not turn Jim in as a runaway slave, that makes it evident that he matures or so it
This was important at the end when Huck was debating on his action plan after Jim was sold back into slavery by the King and the Duke. He could either choose to abandon Jim or he could try and save him from captivity. This was a time when Huck thought about his friendship with Jim. He remembers all the time with Jim when he “would always call me honey, and pet me, and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he's got now.” These positive and sweet thoughts of Jim’s character makes Huck choose to save him rather than abandon him.
Huck thinks about Miss Watson and how he is betraying her by helping Jim escape. Huck encounters slave catchers and he is internally whether to tell about Jim but decides not to and says, “They went and I got aboard the raft, feeling bad and low, because I knowed very well I had done wrong, and I see it warn’t no use for me to try to learn to do right; a body that don’t get started right when he’s little ain’t got no show -- when the pinch comes there ain’t nothing to back him up and keep him to his work, and so he gets beat” (Twain 102). Then later in the novel Jim is sold by some con men for $40 which upsets Huck and causes him to realize he cares about Jim and says, “All right, then I’ll GO to hell” (Twain 225). Huck is defying society’s laws by deciding to help captured Jim. Huck is maturing significantly because his perception of Jim has changed.
Naturally, as his bond with Jim cultivates, Huck unknowingly treats him as a human. Through Huck’s sensibility, he states, “It didn’t take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn’t no kings nor dukes at all … I hadn’t no objections, ‘long as it would keep peace in the family; and it warn’t no use to tell Jim, so I didn’t tell him” (Twain 125). Correspondingly, Huck gains a consideration for Jim and his personal feelings, which he expresses nonchalantly through motley aspects of their journey.
Huckleberry Finn 's journey is far more than a journey up the Mississippi - it is a journey from boyhood to adulthood. How did the decisions he had to make during the journey help him to mature, and what were the two or three most important lessons he learned during the journey? In the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, we watch Huck grow from boyhood to manhood. He faces many obstacles on his journey but never ceases to overcome them.