Individual vs Society “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is largely an example of humanity 's struggle between societies morals and their own individual beliefs. Throughout the book, Huck goes through a roller coaster of trying to decide whether Jim is a human being or a slave. His development is back and forth through most of the book. Huck begins his journey by humbling himself to Jim. Their relationship evolves into a friendship. Huck isn 't sure if it 's right for him to help Jim but eventually decides his own morals are right and society is wrong. Growing up in the 1830’s, the societal morals were that black people were slaves, below white people. It was unheard of for a white person to sympathize with or humble themselves to a …show more content…
Despite their friendship, however, Huck still doubts helping Jim escape. Huck wants to, “write a letter to Tom Sawyer and tell him to tell Miss Watson where [Jim] was.”(page 213 Twain). Huck feels bad about helping Jim runaway. He feels like he, “Was stealing a poor old woman’s N. that hadn 't ever done [him] no harm.”(page 213 Twain). He begins thinking about Mrs. Watson and her religion, thinking he would go to hell for helping Jim get away. He tries to pray but finds he can’t, so he writes out the letter and tries again. Huck then rips up the letter and exclaims, “ Alright then, I’ll go to hell.” (page 214 Twain). This is the climax of Huck’s evolution to individual morality. Huck realizes that his friendship and loyalty to Jim is bigger than anything in or out of this world. Their friendship prevails through society’s morals. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is an intense and frustrating roller coaster of emotions as Huck’s development rocks back and forth from following society’s morals and his own. He begins a product of society, but through his friendship and personal relationship with Jim, Huck’s journey to individual morality is eventually accomplished. Through many trials, Huck loyalty to Jim is tested and proven genuine. In the end, Huck breaks free from society’s thoughts and finds his own moral compass through his
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Throughout the novel, Huck symbolizes the eternal struggle between pre-established communal expectations and moral consciences. Jim: A runaway slave with a mission to avoid eternal separation from his family,
Huck lives in a time and place where African-Americans are legally not human, so that influences Huck's brain, causing him to see Jim as a slave. For example, when Jim and Huck become separated in the fog, Huck plays a rude trick. He says to Jim that they were never lost and there was no fog. Jim gives a whole speech to Huck, explaining how Huck made him feel like trash. Huck believing that Jim wasn't smart enough to figure the lie out, as well as lying to him at all, shows that Huck feels as though he is above Jim intellectually.
Huck has always seen Jim as a slave until they crossed paths while going down the river. The two develop a friendship and Huck starts to care about Jim and his well being. Although Huck views Jim as someone he cares about, he still sees him as a slave as well. “ I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write that nigger’s owner and tell where he was,” ( Document E). Huck is in a continuous battle with his inner self when it comes to his views on Jim.
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.
Everybody has someone in his or her life who teaches him or her how to be a better person. Throughout the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses Jim, a slave, as a source of symbolism for Huck’s maturity. First, Jim teaches Huck about what it truly means to be civilized. Next, Jim shows Huck about the value of family. Lastly, Jim teaches Huck about racial inequality and how to accept people.
This becomes clear when Huck struggles to pray after being conflicted as to whether or not he should call upon Miss Watson to free Jim from the Duke and King, which he believed would risk Jim’s life. Originally, Huck acted as if Jim wasn’t a runaway slave and prayed for his friend to be saved. Eventually, he realized that he had to honest with God, and that “You can’t pray a lie” (Twain 213). Huckleberry discerns through the use of his conscience that he has to be open with the deity from whom he seeks help. Huck has now been honest with himself and accepted his morality, as well as religion, which he had never wholeheartedly embraced.
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.
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-
All along his society and upbringings have told him that slavery is rift and stealing is wrong. Huck begins to love Jim because he taught him how to be a better human being, and they soon become inseparable. Huck finally views him or as a slave but equal to everyone else in
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 rest of Huck 's journey he continues to meet people along the way that believe themselves to be good civilized people but they all contradict that in some way. The Grangerford 's are in a murdering feud with another family, the Phelps own slaves and are trying to get a reward for Jim, the townspeople that feather and tar the Duke and King without a trial, the execution of Boggs, even the Widow tells Huck not to smoke but takes snuff herself. Huck spends a large amount of time in the book pondering over how to be good and do the right things, and at the end of the book when he decides to go West and leave it all behind he has finally realized that he 's not the one that 's bad, society is. Huck heads back out into the world not for more adventure, but to get away from
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
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 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.
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.