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.
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.
The deformed conscience of all society effects Huck but he is able to overcome it. The immoral views society has makes Huck question his moral compass yet in the end he follows his heart in a matured way. Mark Twain writes the novel to be able to highlight unethical practices of society. Yet Huck is able to see past the twisted views and follows his long-term values proving Huck’s maturity just as Joshua L. Liebman quote claims “Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term
Huckleberry Finn matures morally in his adventures when having to make decisions throughout his journey for the future of his life and his slave friend, Jim. Huck has grown up learning bad morals caused by living with his drunk and abusive father, and with no one to tell him otherwise, he keeps the same morals that his dad taught him. Fortunately, Huck is helped by Jim, a runaway slave who joins him on his journey and helps Huck develop his own morals with decisions Huck makes. Throughout Huck's adventures, he is put into numerous situations where he must use his own judgement to make decisions that will affect the morals Huck will carry with him throughout his life. Huck matures in the novel through his morals when he is confronted with life
Huck’s feelings toward Jim changes from thinking he is just a slave, to a friend, and eventually more like a father-figure. There is more to this novel than just two boys floating along the Mississippi River. It addresses the seriousness of racism and abuse and talks about the importance of friends and family. Even though Huck and Jim come from different races, the time they have spent together really helps to surpass the discrimination happening and become not just friends,
Every person encompasses their own unique opinion. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck Finn possesses a conscience that makes him one of the most important and recognizable figures in American literature. However, Claudia Durst Johnson, a critic, believes that because of Huck’s actions the novel “is one of the most radical and darkly bitter books in the American canon. It represents the breaking of federal law as moral. It recommends disobedience and defiance on the part of young people.”
In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck and Jim bond closely to one another, regardless of the fact that they belong to different ethnic groups. Huck, a coming-of-age teenage boy, lives in the Southern antebellum society which favors slavery. At the beginning of the book, Twain claims that “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; and persons attempting to find a plot will be shot” (Twain 2). Ironically, through his experiences with Jim, the uncivilized Huck gradually establishes his own moral beliefs, although sometimes struggling against the influence of society.
Through this novel he not only recognizes the problems that appear throughout the Southern states in regards to slavery itself, but also the issues with the laws that permit it. Through the portrayal of an ironic situation, such as a runaway slave being friends with a white boy, as well as diction to clarify Huck’s purpose lying in regards to Jim, in order to convey
Smiley says that throughout the entire story “Twain really saw Jim as no more than Huck’s sidekick”, as "Jim is never autonomous never has a vote, always finds his purposes subordinate to Huck's, and, like every good sidekick, he never minds” (Smiley). Yet, we see in Huck’s moral dilemma, how he understands how great and amazing of a person that Jim is when they were “floating along talking, and singing, and laughing”, that he finally defeats the concept of Jim being just a ‘sidekick’ or a slave (HF. Chp 31). Huck truly sees Jim as his equal when he commits his entirety to saving Jim, getting mad that to society, Jim amounted only to “forty dirty dollars” (HF. Chp 31).
So, when Huck picks up Jim, a recently escaped slave, and heads up the Mississippi River, he gets nervous when Jim begins to talk about how he will soon be free and plans to buy, or even steal, his wife and children. This was during a time where Huck would be committing a crime by helping a slave escape. He has a difficult time deciding to be loyal to his friend and let Jim continue up the rest of the way up north so that he can be freed, or to turn Jim in as an escaped slave. Huck fears getting in trouble, but he also is very torn because of the relationship that he now has with Jim. Huck’s askew sense of sympathy and morality are conflicting each other.
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.
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
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.
This is the climax of the novel, in which many of the underlying themes are made clear. Huck’s morals overcome his fear for punishment, and he is determined to help Jim even if he has to go to hell for it. Furthermore, Jim is a runaway slave, and in the context of the story, helping a runaway slave, albeit one that was sold and has a new owner, would be almost traitorous to Huck’s community. Another revelation is that Huck has transcended the racial constructs of the time, recognizing Jim’s humanity and considering him someone worth rescuing at great personal risk. In this scene, Huck finally breaks the restraints of society, and indeed, his environment, by ignoring all societal and theological constructs and instead choosing what is right by his conscience.
Being raised in a time of prejudice and hate affected Huck and his mindset towards Jim. Although Huck was better than most people during his time, he still had lapses of judgement. While they were floating down the Mississippi River, Huck was debating whether or not he should return Jim to his owner. Although he ultimately decided against doing so, the fact that he even thought about it shows that he knows that Jim is someone else’s property. Huck also refers to him as “n-”, which proves his lack of respect for Jim.