Free Essay

Huckleberry Finn

In: English and Literature

Submitted By lannguyenthi
Words 3622
Pages 15
ISSN 1798-4769 Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol. 1, No. 5, pp. 632-635, September 2010 © 2010 ACADEMY PUBLISHER Manufactured in Finland. doi:10.4304/jltr.1.5.632-635

An Analysis of the Factors Affecting Huck’s Growth
Yanxia Sang
Basic English Department, Dezhou University, Dezhou City, Shandong Province, China Email: dz_syx@126.com
Abstract—Huckleberry Finn is one of Mark Twain’s outstanding masterpieces. Superficially, it tells a story about a 13 or 14 year old boy’s adventures with Negro Jim on the Mississippi river. In fact, it reflects the growth process of Huck through adventures. His growth is embodied by his choice on independence, his change of attitude towards Jim, his moral growth, and the different social roles he plays. Huck’s growth is influenced by the inner and outer factors. On the one hand, friendship, nature and society make up the outer environment for Huck’s growth. They have great effect on the development of his growth. On the other hand, his own instinct and his sound heart finally decide the direction of his growth. Index Terms—growth, the influence of Jim, nature and society, instinct, sound heart

I. INTRODUCTION Mark Twain is a giant in American literature. He is a great realist and satirist in late 19th century. His delicate familiarity with children’s psychology, his thorough understanding of Americans and American society, his great contribution to American English and his immense witty humor have won great respect and reputation among the people around the world. Of all the works Mark Twain accomplished in his life, the Adventure of Huckleberry Finn is the most successful. This remarkable masterpiece brings the world prestige to him. It is the combination of simplicity and subtlety, directness and complexity that has given the novel its status as the American classic. Seemingly the novel is telling a story of a young boy and a runaway slave journeying on the Mississippi. However, it is of great moral passion. It deals with the virtue and depravity of man’s heart, which can only be fully understood by adult readers. While confronted with and dealing with the contradictions during the adventures, Huck is increasingly growing up. His growth is embodied in terms of the establishment of independent personality and moral progress. Growth of any adolescence will be influenced by outer and inner factors. Huck is no exception. II. THE FACTORS INFLUENCING HUCK'S GROWTH Huck’s growth consists of the establishment of his independent personality, his moral growth and the different social roles he plays. During the process of Huck’s growth, both the outer and inner factors play very important roles that are illustrated as the following. A. Negro Jim On the road of Huck’s growth, his fellow Negro Jim plays a very important role. He is the guide of Huck’s growth. That he can take on such a role is based on the following aspects. Firstly, although Jim is not so clever and intelligent as Huck, he is sincere, trustworthy and honest, and he is always ready to help others. Such good qualities enable Jim to be a positive guide of Huck. He teaches Huck what a friend means and what loyalty is. Jim’s sincerity is established in several ways. The most potent example is his joy at seeing Huck alive again after the fog separates them. Jim gets upset with Huck for tricking him into believing it was all a dream precisely because he had invested a great deal of emotional content into the adventure. It also starts to become obvious that Jim would be willing to sacrifice a great deal to make sure that Huck is safe. The problem at this juncture of the novel is that Huck does not reciprocate Jim’s feelings about him. Huck is not yet willing to sacrifice part of his life to ensure Jim’s safety and thus leads Jim from one adventure to another, be it on the wrecked steamboat or during the fog. This is important because it is Huck’s loyalty to Jim that will be tested later. There is a distance between their ages, but they can get along well with each other. Jim appears at times as a substitute father for Huck. He takes care of Huck like both a father and a friend. In chapter 20, it is Huck’s duty to be on watch, but he was pretty sleepy, so Jim said he could stand the first half of it for Huck. In Huck’s eyes, he is always “mighty good”. (188) Secondly Jim loves his family and he makes Huck find a family. When Jim discusses his family, Huck comments that he is surprised to find that Jim is almost as concerned about his family as a white person. This prevailing attitude, which often is invoked, to justify breaking up slave families, is an attitude that Huck is overcoming. Jim’s touching story about his daughter Elizabeth, in which he hits her for not obeying him, is a powerful indication to Huck that Jim is

© 2010 ACADEMY PUBLISHER

JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE TEACHING AND RESEARCH

633

in fact more concerned about his children than Huck’s father ever was about him. Thirdly, Jim has strong self-esteem. Slave as he is, he never looks down upon himself before Huck. He regards himself to be equal to everyone. Once the fog separates Huck and Jim, Jim was so worried about Huck. However, when Huck comes back safely, he fools poor Jim. Jim isn’t subject to Huck because he is a slave. On the position of a friend, Jim tells Huck his feelings. Jim’s self-esteem gains the return of Huck’s respect. Lastly, his spirit of revolt arouses Huck’s sense of justice. Jim is an image of rebellion. He is not subject to the control of his owner. He wants to get the independence and liberate his family members. Although, from the perspective of white people, it is illegal and unacceptable for Jim to escape, his love for his family and his pursuit of freedom and happiness get Huck to know that black people are also human beings, and they are equal to white people. The above aspects apply for Jim’s role as a guide. He not only acts as a surrogate father to Huck, but also provides Huck with the opportunity for moral growth. His good qualities have a positive effect on Huck. As a child, Huck’s moral ideology is not completely sound. He tends to be influenced by the surroundings around him. The corrupted society pains him. Jim as a guide on the road of Huck’s growth can lead him to the right way. He expresses his parental feeling for Huck, and makes Huck find a family. Through his sincerity and his loyalty, Jim clears up the discrimination in Huck’s mind step by step. Huck’s sense of morality comes from Jim. They establish intimate relationship, sometimes like friends, sometimes like father and son. The establishment of such relationship is on the equal basis. Although Jim is uneducated, the good qualities enable him to be the guide of Huck. He is like a pilot on the journey of Huck’s growth and makes Huck drive in the right direction. The reader is left to believe that Huck has truly found a father in Jim, and realizes that color is no barrier in love and friendship. B. Nature Nature is another positive factor influencing Huck’s growth. It provides a pure environment for the growth of Huck. Floating on the raft down the Mississippi river, the life is quite different from that on the bank. Nature clarifies and purifies Huck’s mind. There is no greed, deceit, hypocrisy and cruelty. The life on the river makes a clear contrast with the life on the bank. The raft is the symbol of freedom, and it takes Huck and Jim to freedom. The life on the raft represents harmony, tranquility, friendship and freedom. Huck and Jim get along well with nature. Compared with the tedious life in the civilized society, Huck thinks that “there wasn’t home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft doesn’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” (128) The raft is the home of Huck. He feels warmth and responsibility. This is the free life he pursues. What’s more significant is that, when confronted with the dangers together With Jim, he makes friends with Jim and knows the real meaning of friendship. In pure nature, there is no slavery, no discrimination. Huck and Jim are equal to each other. They should cooperate with each other to deal with the hardship. Nature is presented as a thought-provoking environment. Therefore the great pure nature clarifies Huck’s conscience, which has been ill trained by the deceitful civilized world. The return to nature arouses his instincts of integrity. When Huck and Jim encounter any trouble on the shores, they retreat to the river. The river not only serves as a linkage of adventure, but also symbolizes the freedom, equality and brotherhood that Huck and Jim are seeking. The river is a quiet and peaceful place where Huck can revert to examine any predicament he might find himself in. On the river, Huck is as free as a bird out of a tiny cage. The floating on the river provides Huck with a healthy environment for his psychological development, and it records his trace of growth. River is his destination, and only on river can he breathe the fresh air and enjoy freedom. The endlessly flowing river symbolizes a life journey. It brings up Huck, and his thought elevates. He began to grow into an independent youth from a naughty child. The uncivilized nature endows Huck with instinct of pursuing freedom and justice. It also trains his sound heart. As a homeless child, nature is Huck’s beloved home, and it is like a mother caring for Huck. In the family of nature, Huck’s sound heart comes into being and his psychology develops healthily. C. Society If Jim and nature teach Huck how to be a man from a positive perspective, society “educates” Huck how to tell good and evil from the negative aspect. Huck is born into nature, but is morally influenced by society. From chapter 16 to chapter 30, each chapter brings in new characters and adventures, which highlight particular prejudices or follies of the characters. People’s greed, deceit, hypocrisy and cruelty in the civilized society are thoroughly exposed in the eyes of Huck. The evil phenomena, such as humanity’s cruelty, cowardice, deceit and injustice, form a strong contrast with the tranquil picture of the Mississippi river. The strong contrast impacts Huck’s heart. On the river, it is a world of brotherhood, equality and freedom; on shores, what one can see are the frauds murder and other vices of human society. The bars and shackles of civilization shut him in and bound him hand and foot. During the adventures, Huck is thrown out into a very hypocritical hostile world. He witnesses the wholesale slaughter of the Granger fords and the cold-blooded shooting of old Boggs. The casual violence is all pervasive. Such violence makes for a mood of general apathy, of complete indifference. Boggs’s death focuses the reader’s attention on a much more serious aspect of the society. Boggs is shot to death in front of his daughter and with a crowd of people watching. The disrespect shown to Colonel Sherburne hardly justifies killing a man directly in front of his own daughter. The lust of money cannot be resisted in the civilized society. Miss Watson could not resist the eight hundred corrupting dollars offered her by the nigger trader for Negro Jim. The ling and the duke perform their monstrous frauds for money alone and finally betray Jim for forty dollars. The adventures force Huck to play different roles as he tries to assimilate himself into each new
© 2010 ACADEMY PUBLISHER

634

JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE TEACHING AND RESEARCH

situation. One adventure after another, Huck is more and more mature. He has acquired a profound and bitter knowledge of human depravity. He rejects the society full of evils. Huck’s pure eyes expose the decadence of the society. He sets his face against the conventions of civilized morality. The society shows him the evil side, which brings Huck to challenge the conventions and establishes his own standard of justice. Meanwhile Huck learns how to survive in the deceitful and cruel society. The people in the society have gotten involved in the old conventions, which also influence Huck’s growth. The civilized society continuously assimilates Huck’s pure and natural heart. However, the influence of the society is negative, which enhances Huck’s rejection to the civilized society and the old conventions. At last, he gives up the social morality, and chooses to trust his natural morality again. D. His Sound Heart or his Natural Instinct The most significant factor affecting the growth of Huck is his own sound heart. In a notebook entry, Twain referred to Huckleberry Finn as “a book of mine where a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision and conscience suffers defeat.” The sound heart makes Huck able to gain access to truth and defeat the “conscience” ill-trained by the civilized society. The course that sound heart beats the “conscience” is the process of Huck’s growth. His conscience is influenced by the social conventions. He undergoes various tests and is confronted with complex conflict. Step by step he is growing up. Huck is uneducated, coarse, naughty and untamed, but meanwhile, he is upright, kind and realistic. The social conventions leave few traces on him. He chooses to stay with Jim because as a young boy he still lacks the prejudices of the older folks in his town. Therefore he has the thought of equality and sense of justice, and he is brave to reject the traditional conception. Naturally, his growth is not accomplished in one step, but develops gradually. As a white boy, brought up in a countryside where slaveholding system is a matter of course. Huck is influenced by the public view of racial prejudice and discrimination. Like the rest of society that surrounds him, he always derides, teases and deceives the blacks. He does not see black people as equals and he refers to Jim as merely a piece of property. In the very beginning, Huck tricks on Jim and makes fun of Jim. He considers Jim inferior in status. When a snake bit Jim due to his prank, Huck did not express concerns for Jim’s safety; he was more concerned with being caught. This opinion does not cease to exist until the time when the two of them meet again after the fog. The fog separates Huck and Jim. Jim is so worried about Huck and he seeks for Huck desperately on the raft. However, Huck hoaxes him into believing that he only had a dream. When Jim knows the truth, he criticizes Huck severely. Huck is educated by Jim’s reaction, and he realizes that Jim is a man with strong self-esteem. He brings himself to make an apology to Jim. He humbles himself to a nigger, and is not “sorry for it afterwards, never”. (89) This is the turning point of his attitude towards slaves, and it is also the first step that he gets away with conventions and prejudice. When the raft approaches the city of Cairo, Huck feels more and more upset. For Jim, Cairo symbolizes freedom; for Huck, the prison of moral conflict. Raising his deformed conscience to decision, Huck takes off in a canoe to go and give Jim up. However, when a passing raft comes alongside Huck’s canoe, his sound heart triumphs and he saves Jim by lying. This is the second step for Huck to separate with the power of traditional conventions. In chapter 31, Huck’s contradictory thoughts come to climax, knowing Jim was sold by the “King”, Huck is afraid of being known that he has once helped a nigger to get his freedom. He thinks that he has done a low-down thing. Then he writes to Miss Watson, reporting whereabouts of Jim. However, thinking about those days and nights he has spent with Jim and considering how kind Jim has been to him, Huck is caught in a dilemma. He recalls the raft journey, which is full of happiness and love. Huck is forced to finally decide between right and wrong concerning slavery, and as such must solidify his own morality. He finishes by deciding to follow his sound heart and free Jim. He studies the letter and holds his breath, and finally decides, “all right, then, I’ll go to hell”, (156) and tears up the paper. The fact that Huck is willing to sacrifice his own soul to hell for Jim’s sake shows the tremendous amount of personal growth that Huck has undergone. In the earlier chapters Huck would never have considered making such a sacrifice. This scene indicates how his relationship with Jim has changed over the course of the journey downriver, from companion to respected friend to being the only family that Huck will acknowledge. Huck makes his decision after remembering all the times that Jim protected him and cared for him, something that no one else has ever done for Huck. Up until this point he has followed the authority of those around him, such as Pa, the Widow, Miss Watson, Judge Thatcher, the King, and the Duke. He breaks free of this authority the moment that he decides to free Jim. For the first time Huck is actually acting on his convictions and morals, rather than on his desires and wants. It is now that Huck accomplishes his decisive step. This moment is life-altering for Huck because it forces him to reflect everything that civilization has taught him; he makes the decision to free Jim based on his own experiences and not based on what he has been taught from books. Huck’s decision to steal Jim symbolizes the victory of his sound heart over deformed conscience. The raft journey towards freedom is Huck’s growing process. During the process, Huck is tortured by the conflicts between the individual and the society, between the sound heart and the deformed conscience. As an individual, Huck pursues the freedom; he is not going to subject to the conventions and restrains. As for the issue of slavery, he sympathizes with Jim and he is brave to break the established law. Standing alone against the society is both challenging and painful. People have the tendency to be in the mainstream, following blindly what they are taught to believe in. However, child as Huck is, when his ideas conflict with the social conventions he dares to make his own decision. On the deeper level, the conflict between the individual and the society reflects the contradiction between
© 2010 ACADEMY PUBLISHER

JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE TEACHING AND RESEARCH

635

sound heart and deformed conscience. From the time when Huck meets the fleeing Negro Jim, the friction has tortured him between his sound heart and the deformed conscience. He wrestles with his conscience. His “conscience” tells him that he is doing wrong and that he is to blame. He makes great efforts to persuade himself to follow social training, yet he succumbs to his sound heart. He is obviously maturing in his views, as evidenced by his belief that black and white people are not so different. He is also changing from a boy who lacks firm morals to a man with a commitment to values. Thus his commentary is no longer merely descriptive, but is becoming more and more evaluative as he goes along. It is becoming obvious that Huck will not be content to stand aside and let things slide past him, as the metaphor of gliding down the river suggests. Instead, Huck is about to take a stand and assert himself as an individual and a person. Thus his attitudes will eventually bear fruit in his actions, which is the final step in Huck’s journey towards mature individuality. Through self-education, Huck gets a further and better understanding of the society and human beings. III. CONCLUSION The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn tells the story about the process of an adolescent’s growth. Huck, like other adolescents, is confronted with various conflicts and puzzles. When he steps into the society, into adults’ world, he witnesses the lust, deceit, violence and old conventions. In the complexity of good and evil, he sometimes feels at a loss, even loses his way to growth. Due to his innocence, he is apt to be influenced by the outer factors, such as people and the environment around him. Meanwhile, as an individual, he is very independent. He begins to have his own thinking. To think independently is the significant sign for one’s growth and maturity. All the factors, outer or inner, influence Huck’s growth; however, his sound heart, as the inner factor, plays the decisive role in his growth. REFERENCES
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Beaver, Harold, ed. (1987). Unwin Critical Library, vol Ⅲ. London: Allen & UNWIN. Pizer, Donald, ed. (1987). The Cambridge Companion to American Realism and Naturalism. London: Cambridge University Press. Twain, Mark. (1985). The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. England: Penguin Classics. Cunliffe, Marcus. (1986). The Literature of the United States. New York: Penguin Books Ltd. Eliot T. S. (1950). “Introduction,” Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Chanticleer Press.

Yanxia Sang was born in Dezhou city, Shandong Province, China in 1976. She received her M.A. degree in linguistics from Shandong University, China in 2008. She is currently a lecturer in Basic English Department, Dezhou University, Dezhou city, Shandong Province, China. Her research interests include English and American literature.

© 2010 ACADEMY PUBLISHER…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Huckleberry Finn

...and put him in trance, and rode him all over the State, and then set him under the trees again and hung his hat on a limb to show who done it. And next time Jim told it he said they rode him down to New Orleans; and after that, every time he told it he spread it more and more, till by-and-by he said they rode him all over the world, and tired him most to death, and his back was all over saddle-boils.” (Fanni’s Book. P. 14). Analepsis = when Jim told Huck about his escape. Because the book is narrated by 1st person we only get the story from Hucks point of view, which is not really reliable. Omnicient narration, we are not aware of what the other characters feel. Briefly describe the style of Huckleberry Finn. What is your opinion of its effectiveness? Answer: The way the book is written feels like it’s spoken language put on paper. It makes you feel like you get to know the characters better and it feels more reliable. The style of the book feels like it’s told from a young boys perspective and it has not been changed. The childish and the informal style makes the book feel real. Huck as a narrator is very inefficient because he wants to tell everything and descriptions of things are explained on several pages, we think that it could have been a smaller amount of unnecessary information. What does the raft symbolize and how is it juxtaposed (contrasted) to land (the shore)?......

Words: 829 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Huckleberry Finn

...Racism In Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn  In recent years, there has been increasing discussion ofthe seemingly racist ideas expressed by Mark Twain inHuckleberry Finn. The basis for these has been the depiction of one of the main characters in Huckleberry Finn, Jim, a black slave. Jim, is a "typical" black slave who runs away from his "owner" Miss Watson. At several points in the novel, Jim's character is described to the reader, and some people have looked upon the characterization as racist. However, before one begins to censor a novel it is important to separate the ideas of the author from the ideas' of his characters. It is also important not to take a novel at face value and to "read between the lines" in order to capture the underlying themes of a novel. If one were to do this in relation to Huckleberry Finn, one would, without doubt, realize that it is not racist and is even anti-slavery. On a superficial level Huckleberry Finn might appear to be racist. The first time the reader meets Jim he is given a very negative description of Jim. The reader is told that Jim is illiterate, childlike, not very bright and extremely superstitious. However, it is......

Words: 698 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

...Mark Twain: The conscience of a country. When writing, a person’s inner thoughts come to life. It happens whether they mean it to or not. The author might accidentally choose certain words that bring their own feelings to light, or they could come right out and say how they feel. The point is that every author, no matter how good, will project what they believe onto their writing. Mark Twain does this in The adventures of Huckleberry Finn on numerous occasions. In a time of extreme patriotism and narrow-mindedness Twain made the nation rethink their most basic of beliefs. In a bold move, Twain chronicled his beliefs pertaining to religion, slavery, and civilization. Each time his “profanity saving” pen touched paper he acted as the nation’s conscience. Mark Twain, through the use of wit and satire, challenged the most basic of American beliefs for nearly half a century Religion was a common target of Twain. “What put twain off about religion was its bossiness and it’s alignment with corrupt community values…” (Blount 53). In Huckleberry Finn these beliefs are evident in the character of the Widow Douglas. Though she is a professed Christian she takes no stock in the Christian principles of acceptance and focuses instead on the “bossiness” aspect of Religion. The widow was against practices that she took no part in. It could either be that she thought she always did the right thing or possibly that she determined right and wrong. The former of these two options would make......

Words: 1455 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Huckleberry Finn

...Maze 1 Bethany Maze Ms. Woods CP English III December 13, 2012 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain has been considered one of the greatest American novels in history. Unfortunately, no one receives this sort of praise without criticism. This book has been deemed indecent for many younger readers due to its lack of morals and failure to conform to today’s politically correct language. Most of the disapproval comes from the racist comments, words, and general feeling towards one of the main characters, Jim. The big controversy here is whether or not this book should be available for young readers in libraries, and if it should be used as a learning material in classrooms. The book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should be taught in classrooms under certain conditions. One of the strongest reasons people believe that younger readers should not be subjected to this book is because of its racial undertones. Twain was writing to portray what happened at this time in history and what the social norms were. In fact if he didn’t include words such as the “N” word in his novel it would not have accurately portrayed the people during that time period. Using these racial terms is a sensitive Maze 2 thing to deal with. Although this book is accurate, younger readers aren’t educated enough to know the consequences of some of the terms used. Michiko Kakutani believed that “to censor or redact books on school......

Words: 763 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Huckleberry Finn

...MARK TWAIN AND "THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN" Mark Twain was born on the Missouri frontier and spent his childhood there. His real name is actually Samuel Langhorne Clemens. At the age of 12 he quit school in order to earn his living. At the age of 15 he already wrote his first article and by the time he was 16 he had his first short novel published. In 1857 he was an apprentice steamboat pilot on a boat that left Mississippi and was leading towards New Orleans. His characters were created because of the people and the situations he encountered on this trip. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is a sequel to "Tom Sawyer". "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is one of the masterpieces of American literature. It was first published in America in January 1885. From all of Mark Twain's novels this one was the only that sold best at its initial appearance. Although it was criticized a lot too. In 1885 it was even banished from the Concord Public Library. The novel presents the things a thirteen year old child goes through when trying to save a black slave from the woman ... ... middle of paper ... ...ws. He discovers that Jim and Pap are suspects to his murder. In this journey Huck and Jim become friends. Although his background makes him not only to apply the rules he knows, but also to invent new ones. He struggles with the ideas about black people that the society has. "Huck represents what anyone is capable of becoming: a thinking, feeling......

Words: 290 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

...Jim and Huckleberry Finn’s growth throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn set the stage for Daniel Hoffman’s interpretation in “From Black Magic-and White-in Huckleberry Finn.” Hoffman exhibits that through Jim’s relationship with Huckleberry, the river’s freedom and “in his supernatural power as interpreter of the oracles of nature” (110) Jim steps boldly towards manhood. Jim’s evolution is a result of Twain’s “spiritual maturity.” Mark Twain falsely characterizes superstition as an African faith but, Daniel Hoffman explains that most folk lore in Huckleberry derives from European heritage. Tying your hair into knots with thread to defend against witches who ride their prey is even referenced in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Mr. Hoffman then goes on to ask and answer “Why, then does Mark Twain make such a point of having only Negroes, children and riffraff as the bearers of folk superstitions in the recreated world of his youth?” (109) He clarifies that during the time Huck Finn was composed, Twain was living far from his childhood home. His memory of Uncle Dan’l, who Mark Twain divulges in his autobiography, was the origin of Jim, and his stories are skewed by Twain’s memory. Hoffman also believes that Twain infuses his ideas on “superstition: slaves: boyhood freedom” (109) It Is grouped together due to his experiences of his youth. “The minstrel stereotype, as we have scene, was the only possible starting point for a white author attempting to deal with a Negro......

Words: 741 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Huckleberry Finn Essay

...Huckleberry Finn Essay In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain Huck a common theme of having no morals/ethics is brought out repeatedly throughout the novel. Examples of this are when Huck thinks about turning Jim in due to the fact that he felt bad for Miss Watson and that she had never done anything wrong to him, when King and Duke do their "royal nonesuch" in each town, and the entire Grangerford episode. To start off, Huck thinks about turning Jim into slave hunters as they near freedom (or so they think) after they have gone many miles and gained a new found trust for one another. This shows morality and ethic problems, because Jim and Huck learn to trust each other and consider each other friends and all Huck can do is think about how helping Jim escape is an unmoral decision, because Jim is property of Miss Watson. only is slavery wrong, but all Huck can do is think about how Miss Watson took care of him and tried her best to raise him; however by helping Jim escape he is showing an ultimate disrespect toward her (in Huck's eyes.) ----------- The example of this from the book is one page 88 when Huck thinks "What had poor Miss Watson done to you, that you could see her nigger go off right under your eyes and never say a single word? What did that poor old woman do to you, that you could treat her so mean?" --------------- The next example of poor ethics and no moral conscious is when the Duke and King run their "royal nonesuch" on the Wilks family......

Words: 666 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Huckleberry Finn & the Deliverance

...In Chapter 15, pg. 115, Jim was speaking in this passage to Huckleberry Finn saying ,“Dat truck dah is trash; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren’s en makes ’em ashamed.” Huckleberry Finn had fell asleep and played a trick on Jim. Jim didn't know whether Huckleberry Finn was dead or alive and took his joke seriously. This was a turning point in the novel because Huckleberry Finn realized the compassion Jim has for their friendship and that Jim has feelings. Huckleberry Finn says, ”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 wouldn’t done that if I’d a knowed it would make him feel that way”. Huckleberry Finn feels and knows that the way he treated Jim wasn’t fair because Jim cares about him as his friend regardless of their social discrepancies. I can compare this to Work: A Story of Experience by Louisa May Alcott in Chapter 2, pg. 14, when Christie says, “But I don’t like that way, and I won’t have it. I suppose Katy thought her white skin gave her a right to be disrespectful to a woman old enough to be her mother just because she was black. I don’t; and while I’m here, there must be no difference made. If we can work together, we can eat together; and because you have been a slave is all the more reason I should be good to you now.” Christie expresses her feelings towards racism and the laws abided by slaves. She also has been......

Words: 1193 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

An Essay on Huckleberry Finn

...Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In the book, Twain expertly illustrates the character of Huck Finn as well as southern society. Through his storytelling, one can find lessons that are vital to society today such as the consequences of being dishonest, the negative impact of the prevalence of racism, and the importance of choosing your own morality. Lying – it is something so innate to us humans that many of us do not think about it at all. Odds are every single one of us tells multiple lies each day, no matter how small. The con men of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the Duke and the Dauphin, are two pathological liars who use their craft to beguile unsuspecting victims for monetary gain. Again and again, the pair of con men performed the play “The Royal Nonsuch”, a performance that was advertised by them as being something worth seeing but in actuality was a scam. They narrowly escaped persecution on several occasions due to luck being on their side. Ultimately, Twain shows how there was consequences of the repeated deceit of the Duke and the Dauphin with them being tarred and feathered. In taking this example and applying it today, one can see that there are always ramifications to leading a dishonest life. Another facet of human society that is prevalent in Huckleberry Finn is discrimination between races, namely white intolerance of blacks and the presence of slavery. The bigotry of whites portrayed in Huckleberry Finn were exemplary of the time......

Words: 836 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Slavery in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

...Slavery in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Metaphor Over the past three centuries, only a handful of American authors have achieved such success that their work continues to be read and studied decades, even hundreds of years after their deaths. Mark Twain achieved this success by writing some of the greatest novels American literature has ever seen. Arguably his most famous work, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn essentially revolutionized American literature. One might say that Twain initiated the transition from romantic epics to more realistic-based tales. A second profound American author, Ernest Hemingway, even said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn,” (Hemingway). Within this work, Twain uses some topics that were very controversial at the time to present an even more insightful idea. While one of the main issues in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is slavery, Twain uses it as an allegory for the struggle, that still exists today, between an individual’s conscience and society’s norms and ideals. In this novel, the setting and time period during which it takes place plays a significant part in the overall plot. Though Twain wrote this novel in the 1880s, several years after the Emancipation Proclamation, he chose to set the novel a few decades before the Emancipation Proclamation. In choosing this, he enabled himself to highlight slavery as one of the main issues of the novel. During the time when......

Words: 1395 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Huckleberry Finn

...Authors often base their stories on their own life experiences and beliefs. In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there are many references to Samuel Clemens’s life, tying in how Clemens felt about the everyday issues of his time with the journey and trials of a boy and a slave. Throughout the story, he expresses his views on racism, morality, society, and his own adventures. Samuel Clemens grew up in Missouri, a slave state at the time, and experienced first- hand how slavery worked, later bringing it up in many of his writings. After the death of his father at age 11, Clemens became a printer’s apprentice and started working as a typesetter in 1851 as a contributor of articles and humorous sketches for the Hannibal Journal, a newspaper company owned by his brother, Orion. Clemens later went on to pilot his own steamboat on the Mississippi. It is here that Clemens found his pen name, Mark Twain, from "mark twain," the cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms. This is also where Clemens found the time to write a book titled, Life on the Mississippi, a memoir of his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War. When the Civil War began, Clemens enlisted in a Confederate Unit, which is where he wrote a sketch called, "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed," telling how he and his friends had been Confederate volunteers for two weeks before disbanding their company.......

Words: 457 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Huckleberry Finn

...The Credibility of Characters in Twain’s Huckleberry Finn The credibility of a novel is defined as the quality of it being believable or trustworthy. This simply means that the novel provides a story which can essentially take place in the real world. If this were to be the case in a novel, then the many aspects of the story would have to be credible. The novel would have to take place in a realistic setting, for example. Also the events that take place in the novel would have to reflect events which can occur in reality. Other aspects that also need to be credible in a novel are the characters. In such a novel the readers need to be able to relate to the characters. An author that does this successfully with the characters is Mark Twain. In one of his more famous novels, Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain gives credibility to the characters by presenting them with major flaws, which helps readers relate to these characters. These characters include Tom, Huck, and Jim. Tom Sawyer has flaws which come to surface early in the novel. “Because it ain’t in the books so—that’s why. Now Ben Rogers, do you want to do things regular, or don’t you?—that’s the idea. Don’t you reckon that the people that made the books knows what’s the correct thing to do?...No, sir, we’ll just go on and ransom them in a regular way” (p. 12). Twain presents Tom as a character who portrays romantic ideals. When he says he wants to go by the book, he reveals that he is taking many of his ideas......

Words: 921 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The History of Huckleberry Finn

...Throughout his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain discusses many themes. The most important theme with in this novel is Huck's struggle between society and his own conscience. Twain shows us what is going on inside of the young boy's head many times within this novel. Although Huck battles with society for long periods of time; and on most occasions, his conscience seems to win the fight, helping Huck choose the right thing. In order to understand where Huck was coming from with these conflicts we must understand, the author's feelings on slavery. Mark Twain once said: In those old slave-holding days the whole community was agreed as to one thing--the awful sacredness of slave property. To help steal a horse or a cow was a low crime, but to help a hunted slave, ... or hesitate to promptly to betray him to the slave-catcher when opportunity offered was a much baser crime, and carried with it a stain, a moral smirch which nothing could wipe away. That this sentiment should exist among slave-owners is comprehensible--there were good commercial reasons for it--but that it should exist and did exist among the paupers, the loafers the tag-rag and bobtail of the community,... is not in our remote day realizable. When Twain was growing up, slavery was a part of his world. Slavery was something that you had to deal with, whether you liked it or not. Twain went against society using the characters in his books, to......

Words: 522 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Huckleberry Finn

...Friendship in Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain a young boy by the name of Huckleberry Finn learns what life is like growing up in Missouri. The story follows young Huckleberry as he floats down the Mississippi River on his raft. On his journey he is accompanied by his friend Jim, a runaway slave. Throughout this novel Huckleberry Finn is influenced by a number of people he meets along the way. Huckleberry Finn was brought up in an interesting household. His father was rarely ever home and if he was, he was drunk, his mother had passed away so Huck had no one to really look out for him or take care of him. Huckleberry had the life that many teenagers dream of, no parents to watch you or tell you what to do, but when Huckleberry finds himself in the care of Widow Douglas and Miss Watson things start to drastically change. Widow Douglas and Miss Watson are two relatively old women and think that raising a child means turning him into an adult. In order for Huckleberry to become a young man, he was required to attend school, religion was forced upon him, and a behavior that was highly unlike Huck became what was expected of him by the older ladies. Not to long after moving in, Huckleberry ran away. When he finally came home he respected the ladies wishes and did what they wanted, but was never happy with it. When Tom Sawyer enters the picture, he is the immediate apple of Huckleberry's eye. Huckleberry sees......

Words: 1025 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Huckleberry Finn

...Truth and Illusion in Huckleberry Finn In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses illusion and reality to probe the prejudices and preconceptions that dominate the way most people see the world, themselves, and other people. Huck has an adventurous mind that allows Twain to explore any idea without the shackles of common civility. In this way, Huck's ability to warp the world into an illusion of his own making eases the reader into a perspective that values truth over appearance. When the illusion of one truth is removed, the reader is struck by the ugliness of the world. One of the first examples of Huck's use of illusion occurs in chapter 8. Having faked his death to escape his father, Huck decides to live on a small island in the river. For the first few days, he feels marvelously free. He has plenty of food from the nature around him and he gets to smoke his pipe without anyone chastising him. The island has essentially become an Eden that protects him from the annoyances and threats of society. The dream of living free on the island, however, cannot last. After Huck joins forces with Jim, they realize that they must hide themselves from people who might visit the island. This is the first bit of reality poking its head into their paradise. When Jim and Huck find a houseboat that has been washed down the river, they also find the body of a dead man who has been shot in the back. They flee the scene, fearing the bad luck of encountering such a sight. Thus they are again......

Words: 536 - Pages: 3