Analysis of the novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
Throughout the novel ,The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the main character, Huck, struggles to fight against society and determine his ultimate truth. The reader can tell from early on that Huck is different from society and is considered an outcast. While reading, one can see that his adventures are important lessons and essential for young Huck. During the novel Huck’s conscience is torn between two voices, and Huck has to make difficult decisions about whether he should do what society has taught him to be right or to do what he thinks is right.
At the time in the 1830’s slavery was a normalized and most people had accepted it apart of their everyday life. This held true for Huck at the beginning of the novel as well, but his adventure takes him on a journey of enlightenment. Starting out in the beginning of the novel Huck was just a boy who didn’t like school, wearing clean clothes, or being civilized. He was told what was right and wrong by Miss Watson, his caretaker, but he dismissed most of what she said. His attitude was very “non-conformist” because of his background with his Pap. At an early age Huck grew up with his drunk father, so it makes since that Huck would not be an “obedient” young boy and rebel against society. His trouble with his conscience all started when he had faked his own murder and met a runaway slave named Jim.
From the beginning of meeting Jim at a crucial time in the book, Huck had only seen him as a person and he fought the beliefs that the society had put in his head. He not only recognized him as a person, but as a friend. This was when Huck’s conscience began to eat him away. First, he was convinced that his reputation in society was worth betraying Jim’s trust for. Then he would remember how Jim was always there for him and thankful for his help. Huck began to feel worse and worse about his decisions and as the book progresses.
Towards the ending of the novel and the climax is when Huck’s moral development reached its peak. Throughout his time with Jim he would beat himself up about what was right or wrong. He felt wrong helping Jim because he knew that he was Miss Watson’s property and society made him think it was wrong to help him. However his instincts were telling him the opposite. During the climax Huck was faced with Jim being enslaved in a plantation and deciding on writing a letter to Jim’s owner, Miss Watson. He was going to write her and tell her where Jim had been, but decided against it. He iconically tore the letter in two and said, “All right, then, I’ll go to hell.” This showed that he would rather risk everything and go to hell than turn in his friend.
Overall, this novel was a stepping stone in history which taught us essential themes about racism, following what you believe, and unlikely friendships. Huck prevailed through the tough decisions and was oblivious to how heroic he was being. He showed us that following your instincts and going against society’s accepted values and truth is what one has to do to find his/her ultimate truth.
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