Huck in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Hucks character portrays a multitude of personality traits that when considered together, paint out the picture of a courageous but cautions young man who is determined to live a free life, away from his cruel father. This article explores the character Huck and analyses his portrayal in the book in regards to the development of his character and the interaction that is observed between his character and other characters in the book. The analysis of Huckleberry Finn considers the environment in which the character was raised in as well as the manner in which he decided to confront the challenges he was faced with.
Considering his situation, Huck was a brave and ambitious young man with a slight tendency to let things get out of hand before finally putting his foot down.
The novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which is a sequel to the novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is an interesting book set in a time where Americans still practised slave trade, around the mid 1800s. The novel, which was written by Mark Twain, tells the story of a young man called Huck who battles a number of challenges in his quest to be a free man. The book begins by recounting the contents of the first novel, which tells the story of how Huck and his friend, Tom, came across a robbers stash of gold and instantly become rich. However, after the bank held this money for him in trust, Huck is adopted by a divine and morally upright Widow Douglas.
Huck, who is only thirteen years old, does not enjoy the strict lifestyle of Widow Douglas. Between the numerous church activities and the school work coupled with cleanliness mannerisms, he has little fun in his new life as the adopted child. However, he does little to rebel from this lifestyle. This shows a degree of patience exhibited in his character that is also evident throughout the novel. The failure to rebel from the strict life, as a normal child his age would, could also stem from an appreciation for the new life he had received in this home, which compared to the things he had experienced with Tom in the books prequel, was a blissful experience.
The character of Huck and his cautiousness in speaking out, however, is put to the test when his father returns to the city of St. Petersburg to demand for Hucks money. After being kidnapped by his own father and being subjected to verbal and physical abuse, Huck finally has enough and resorts to an absurd method of dealing with his father. Huck decides to fake his own death. In this moment, Huck shows signs of bravery and a will to live as instead of giving up on escaping and embracing his new life, he decided to risk everything to gain his freedom.
As the character of Huck continues to develop, the character and the role of Huck in the book becomes more evident. When Huck meets Jim, it is clear that the role of Huck in the book is to help in the facilitation of the theme of the book, which is centred on the problem of slavery in the United States. Huck is fully aware of the consequences of helping a runaway slave. Therefore, the decision to come to Jims aid shows lot about Hucks character. He is empathetic to Jims challenges because of two major factors. He has a caring personality and does not enjoy seeing people oppress others. Also, his decision to help Jim run away could be partly because of the assurance of having a partner in his adventures instead of being alone.
The rest of the book develops a number of peculiar characters of Huck. His tendency to fall in love easily is seen when he seeks the heart of one of the Wilks sisters, leading him to foiling the plan of the aristocrats of defrauding them of their inheritance. This was contrary to his usual option of staying silent while the pair played their scams. This shows the power that love had on Huck and the purity in his heart despite agreeing to cohabitate with an escaped slave and two conmen.
Regarding the manner in which Huck interacted with the other characters in the book, Huck made a number of friends and acquaintances along the way. His decision to befriend a character was often out of both necessity and an appreciation for the persons character and moral inkling. This is one of the main reasons why Huck did not end up back in chains despite encountering so many problems along the way. The bitter relationship between Huck and his father, however, has influenced Hucks ability to trust people. At the end of the book, as Huck exclaims of his fears that his father might return, the audience shows a side of Huck that lacks remorse and empathy as Jim informs Huck that the man they found dead in the house in the island was his father. Here, Huck adopts an understandable yet arguably selfish mentality when he associates the death of his father with his personal happiness and freedom.
Other characters in the book, such as Tom and Jim, also influence Hucks character as they expose him to a new world that eventually brings new challenges. In doing so, they build the character of bravery and humility within Huck as he continues to come across different people who all leave a mark in their lives. This shows that Huck is a fast learner as he often used previous experiences as points of references when dealing with a new challenge. This ability to learn quickly is also seen when Huck learns to read while under the care of Widow Douglas.
In conclusion, the character of Huckleberry Finn is the centre of focus for the book and is, therefore, developed to incorporate a number of different character traits. These traits all bear a connection and make up the brave young boy with a slow but sure approach to dealing with problems. The character of Huckleberry Finn shows the long journey of a young boy in his journey to freedom and the will to survive.
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