Huckleberry Finn Transcendentalism Analysis

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain highlights the racist and white supremacist beliefs in the South during the 1800s. The story is told through the eyes of an adolescent boy, Huckleberry, who embarks on an adventure with Jim, a runaway slave. During their adventure, Huck undergoes internal conflict when his own personal morals don 't match those of the society in which he lives. The characters he meets are all product of their society. Tom Sawyer, who thrives for adventure, reoccurs in the beginning and at the end of the book; he illustrates civilized society and Twain uses him to satirize the Romantics. Although Emmeline Grangerford is only mentioned once, she represents Romantic literature’s emphasis on strong emotions.…show more content…
Twain chooses a child to narrate the book because of the innocent and fresh perspective. Huck has been raised to see slaves as object. Even his outspoken father, Pap, vows to stop voting because a freed slave is able to vote (Twain 34). When Huck is confronted by the idea of running away with Jim, he accepts. Although everyone will “call [Huck] a low-down Abolitionist and despise [him] for keeping mum,” it does not matter to him because he will keep his word (55). His choice of running away with a slave goes against his society’s beliefs and what he was taught. In Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” he stresses the importance of non-conformity. Although Huck knows he will be seen as an abolitionist, and therefore corrupt, he follows his instincts. Emerson emphasizes, “what I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think...It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion...but the great man is he who…show more content…
One incident of this is when Colonel Sherburn kills Boggs. The town went as a group to lynch him, but when Sherburn called them out, no one stepped up, signifying that people get more confident to do dangerous actions while in a group. Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” talks about an individual 's relationship with the government. Thoreau talks about how although one person’s action might seem small, “what is once well done is done forever” (Thoreau). Because the group that tried to lynch Colonel Sherburn have herd mentality, not one person wants to step forward. Additionally, slavery is seen as normal
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