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- I’ll paddle ashore at first light and tell’” (89). This is just the beginning of Huck’s journey to maturation. This is one of the first times Huck begins to question his heart. Following society’s views, Huck believes he’s doing the wrong thing helping Jim run away, when in fact he is doing the correct action. Later on, Huck continues his battle with his moral compass, and his view of the world. Huck still
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn took place in the eighteen hundreds when religion and reputation were dominant in peoples everyday lives. It was very rare for someone to believe something different than everyone else. In Twain 's novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Tom Sawyer and Huck appear to be very different, but their actions, descriptions, and dialogue bring them together to symbolize society in order to show the blind conformity and hypocrisy that humans often display.
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. This is seen in chapter 31, when Huck reflects on his journey as “good”, “laughing”, and “best”. Despite conflicting with societal values, Huck was able to enjoy Jim’s companionship. This is a direct result of him starting to believe that Jim is his equivalent and is worthy of being his friend. By referring to slaves as “n*****” and other derogatory dictions earlier in the novel, then calling Jim “white” and using joyful dictions, Twain highlights Huck’s shift in view from the typical societal view that slaves are “properties” to his own belief that people are not inherently
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic novel that takes the reader on a series of thrilling adventures full of life threatening situations, racism, and slavery. The author Mark Twain, uses the novel to highlight the flaws in society by creating a character like Huck, whose personal sense of morals and justice are more noble than those of the very people trying to civilize him.
The constant complements and conflicts between Huck and society or parts of society lead him to question himself. Huck struggles between siding with society’s standard of right and wrong or his own personal code of ethics but eventually discovers to trust and rely on himself more than worrying about what society thinks he should do. The author, Mark Twain, instills his opinions about ignorance, slavery, and unique consciences into the hearts of the characters he creates to give the reader an exaggerated example of what is wrong with our society and how we can fix it by being
When Huck steps away from his cocoon on the raft, he witnesses the Duke and the Dauphin's attempt to sell Jim, Huck’s loyal runawayformer-slave friend, back into slavery. Huck is confused by the men’s desire to sell Jim, but eventually concludes that he “will go to hell” to defend his friend (223). Huck’s tenacity and unwillingness to let Jim, his loyal companion, remain in the socially acceptable slavery, as well as his willingness to sacrifice his spiritual well-being to save his friend, conveys the idea that Huck disapproves of slavery and its principles. Huck’s situation, which exposes him to the heartless nature of society, is caused by the conniving actions of the Dauphin. The Dauphin is a con-man, who to feed his drinking habit, sells Jim for forty dollars. The Dauphin’s actions disgust Huck, who was previously blissfully unaware of society’s harsh and cruel nature. Huck, by ripping up his letter to Ms. Watson, and vowing to “steal Jim out of slavery again,” refuses to conform to the society and slavery (223). Huck’s non-conformist attitude conveys his progressiveness and emphasizes society’s archaic view on slavery. Thus, Huck’s experience with the Duke and Dauphin, shows him the cruel reality of slavery as well as the heartless reality of society. Before his experience on land, Huck remained conscious of, but not fully aware of heartless actions.
After Huck finds out that Jim is captive, Huck “set down and cried. [He] couldn’t help it” (210). After returning to the raft and not finding Jim there, Huck is overcome with emotion. The fear of Jim not being around causes Huck to realize how important Jim is to him. The friendship they developed on the river and through their adventure causes Huck to be more concerned for Jim’s safety than society’s need to keep Jim captive. 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 decides to act on his morals rather than be held captive by society; Huck believes that he has to act in the best interest of Jim and does not consider what society believes is acceptable behavior. By stating that he will “go to hell,” Huck reiterates what he promises Jim in the beginning- that he rather be a “low down abolitionist”; these statements combined supports his feelings to protect Jim from society. When Huck and Tom get back to the house, Huck states, “...it don’t make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person’s conscience ain’t got no
Mark Twain emphasizes the theme that a person's morals are more powerful than the corrupt influence of society in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Based on how Huck Finn views the world and forms his opinions, he does not know the difference between right and wrong. In the novel, Huck escapes civilized society. He encounters a runaway slave, Jim, and together they travel hopes of freedom. But along the way, Huck and Jim come across troubles that have Huck questioning his motives. Throughout their journey, Huck is aware that Jim has escaped but does not know whether or not to turn him into the authorities. Huck’s mentality about society matures and he realizes his need to protect Jim from dangers. As the novel progresses, Huck begins to realize the flaws in society. Huck ultimately chooses to follow his own
After all his bad experiences with the Duke and King, he stills feels bad for them being tarred and feathered. “Humans beings can be awful cruel to one another.” (chapter 33) Yet through everything, he still cares about the Duke and King even though they caused so much trouble on the raft. Talking about it with Tom he figures that “a persons conscience ain't got no sense, and just goes for him anyway… it takes up more room than all the rest of a person's insides, and yet ain't no good, nohow. Tom Sawyer says the same.” (chapter 33) Huck doesn't find the point in a conscience, he thinks that the whole thing is pointless because he believes it leads you in the wrong direction. This helps him alter his thoughts and help Jim
In the text, The Ethical Life, by Russ Shafer-Landau, it questions Jonathan Bennett’s morality and sympathy and how the two of them can come into conflict. Morality and sympathy are connected, but still very different. Throughout this chapter, Jonathan Bennett outlines many important points and factors that go into these connections and how they can overlap and conflict.
Feeling guilty shows a person’s awarness of social criticism which is related to social control. In the The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , individuals feeling guilty is a major component of society. During his trip on the Mississippi river, Huck thinks he is committing a sin by opposing society and defending Jim. On the river Huck meets some men searching for runaway slaves, Huck creates a story about his dad having smallpox on the raft. The men are scared of catching smallpox and give Huck money and instruct him not to let people know that his dad’s sick when searching for help. Once the men leave, Huck admits, "I knowed very well I had done wrong, and I see it waren't no use for me to try to learn to do right” (pg69). Society’s norms make
Judging someone for their race, ethnicity, or skin color is never portrayed as the right thing to do. However, these are some of the main themes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This was taken place before the Civil War, when slavery was still legal. When Huck Finn and Jim meet, even though Jim is a slave, they connect immediately. Their friendship grows stronger and stronger as the novel continues, it got to the point where Jim was not only a friend, but a father figure to Huck. There was a couple of times where Huck realized that what he was doing was not only wrong, but illegal, and wondered if he should do the right thing, but decided against it. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck sees Jim as a slave, friend, and a father
Individuals often say that the right way may not necessarily be the popular way, but standing up for the right thing, despite it being frowned upon, will be the true test of one’s moral character. This relates to the moral growth that Huck Finn experiences throughout his journey. Mark Twain’s controversial novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, can be said to be a compelling story about how one individual, Huck Finn, goes against society’s ideals. Huck’s moral development can be said to be based primarily on those around him, especially Jim. Many instances also influence Huck’s morals, particularly during the raft journey that will change his beliefs and morals. 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.
Morality is defined as the principles for which people treat one another, respect for justice, and the welfare and rights of others. Moral development is gained from major experiences that can change viewpoints on life or cause people to make a difficult choice in a tough situation. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, one of Mark Twain’s major themes evident in the book is the moral development of Huck FInn, the main character.
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.