Huckleberry Finn Morality Analysis

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In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the protagonist, learns basic manners and expectations of society and religion. However, his drunkard father, who is rarely ever home, returns home only to abuse Huck. This led to Huck faking his death and running away from his dad and thus running away from society. During this journey, Huck is skeptical with many taught norms of society and decides to believe in superstitions. Lawrence Kohlberg developed a theory about the three stages of moral development, pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional morality. Pre-conventional morality is morality based off adult’s standards, conventional morality is based off the moral standards of valued adult role models and post-conventional…show more content…
When the Duke and Dauphin first meet Huck, they claim that they are the Duke and Dauphin when it is blatant to Huck that they are merely impersonating the Duke and Dauphin. In response to this, Huck thinks “If I never larnt nothing else out of pap, I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way” (125). Huck displays a pre-conventional morality as he is basing his judgement off what Pap had told Huck. Despite Huck’s age and lack of education Huck still understands that although the Duke and the Dauphin are lying to him, it would be best to keep quiet. As Huck travels with the Duke and the Dauphin for a bit, they begin to go on many scams, pretending to be European royalty. (138) Huck, at first, lets the Duke and Dauphin scam people but is disgusted by their actions. However, after a while, Huck starts feeling bad for the people who got scammed so Huck then devises a plan to turn in the fake Duke and Dauphin. ( After having the firsthand experience of knowing how someone feels, Huck then begins to act on the Duke and Dauphin’s…show more content…
One example of this is when Huck comes into conflict with both himself and society when he is debating with himself whether he should turn Jim in and become “washed clean of sin” or to go against societies norms and not turn Jim in. After, Huck tears up a note he was going to send to Ms. Watson about Jim and decides “All right, then, I’ll go to hell—and tore it up” (214) Huck, at first, had made his action based off the standard of Ms. Watson and the cultural standard of society that slaves are looked down upon and are inferior to whites. However, as Huck spends more time with Jim, he realizes that Jim acts very similarly to whites as Jim “cared just as much for his people as white folks do.” (155) Although Huck was at first confused about how slaves could have this reaction towards their family, he eventually reckons that Jim and other slaves are like whites. Although Ms. Watson and Widow Douglas, Twains depiction of 19th century society, has made Huck’s vision of a stereotypical slaves/ African poor, Huck looks past this and sees that slaves can act like whites. Despite of Huck’s young age and lack of education, through experience Huck had looked past the cultural norm of slaves. When two men come to Huck and ask if the raft has any runaway slaves, Huck lies and says that there is only his Pap in the raft with chickenpox. After the men leave, unknowingly that Jim is in the raft, Huck
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