What Is Huck Finn's Attitude Towards Society

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In an attempt to comprehend the complex world of American politics, historian Arthur Schlesinger proposed the Cyclical Theory, which stated that the attitudes of the American public towards certain issues fluctuate over time in a cyclic manner. These observations are mirrored in the attitudes of the characters in Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The novel is the companion to the American classic, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Continuing the story after two young boys, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn discover hidden treasure in a cave, the novel starts off with Huck is adopted by Miss Watson and tries to learn to be civilized. When this does not work for him, he escapes society with a runaway slave, Jim. Mark Twain cleverly…show more content…
Towards the end of the book, after a complex scheme put together by Tom Sawyer, Huck “[returns] to anonymity.” The ending in this regard mirrors arguments about racism because even after change happens problems are still occurring with these issues today, Huck’s development comes full circle as does society’s stance towards racism. At one point, Huck needed to apologize to Jim and stated that “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn 't ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn 't do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn 't done that one if I 'd a knowed it would make him feel that way.” In the beginning Huck is hesitant about apologizing to Jim because he is black, but slowly realizes that JIm isn’t any less of a person. Huck develops a bond with Jim and grows to understand why his approach to racism is problematic. This is reflected in the ending. [Insert explanation on how the ending characterizes Huck mirroring society’s attitudes towards racism]. Jim is on what is referred to as a “quest for freedom.” Jim’s quest for freedom in the end ends up being essentially pointless, just like racist attitudes of America. Twain mocks the complexity the issue of racism by presenting Jim’s desire as a long complicated scheme created by Tom. Huck’s perspective is referred to as “A white man’s inadequate perception of a…show more content…
Twain concludes the character’s moral journeys by demonstrating how they escape pressures put upon them by society. In Twain’s story, “The conflict between what people think they stand for and what social pressure forces them to do is central to the model” In the end, Tom’s morality is questionable because he focuses on himself instead of Jim thus creating a contrast between himself and Huck and different moralities and characterizing the two boys. A shift in Huck’s character is demonstrated when he tells Tom Don’t do nothing of the kind; it’s one of the most jackass ideas I ever struck.”By this point in the book, Huck is able to stand up for what he thinks is right. Instead of blindly following Tom, he is able to voice his own opinion and stand up for what he believes is true. This contrasts with the beginning of the novel where he was desperate to join Tom’s gang of robbers. The book also, The book “ acknowledges the power which society exerts over the minds of men in the world” Huck and Jim are seeking freedom from social constraint during their journey throughout the book. In the beginning they are tied down by society, Huck by Mrs. Watson, and Jim by his status as a slave. As they journey to escape these burdens put upon them by society, they are forced to explore what their own morals and opinions of the world around them are. There is a stark contrast between Huck’s morality and his sympathy. “Hucks conscious mirrors the morality of the nineteenth century south
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