Huckelberry Finn

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Mark Twains The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn displays the development of a sound hearted pre teen boy called Huck Finn. We see Huck develop in character, attitude and maturity as he travels down the Mississippi River. This is represented through Hucks search for freedom from sivilisation and its beliefs and through his personal observations of a corrupt and immoral society. Most importantly, we live through Hucks confusion over his supposedly immoral behavior and his acceptance that he will ...go to Hell... as he conquers his social beliefs.

Hucks displeasure in sivilisation and its beliefs is the trigger to his development. Initially, Huck is presented as a uneducated 1 year old, born in to the rigorous life of pre-civil war America. He lives with Widow Douglas (Hucks conservative and motherly foster parent) and Miss Watson (Widow Douglas sister) who both try to sivilise Huck through religion, manners and beliefs. In the opening chapters, Huck is relatively though not completely, untouched by society. He is totally unsophisticated and is basically unthwarted by the ethical ideals and manners of adult society or by the game-playing unreality of Tom Sawyer. PAUL EGGERT Literary Perspectives. From this critics comment, we see that Hucks limited understanding in the sivilised world also limited his capacity to comprehend societys teachings such as religion ...she told me all about the bad place, and I said I wish I was there. and its rules and life style She put me in them new clothes again, and I couldnt do nothing but sweat and sweat, and feel all cramped up. This in many ways allowed Huck to make decisions from his own moral evaluation instead of relying on the disillusioned teachings of society.

As the novel develops, we see Huck kidnapped by his father, a drunken byproduct of societys corruption. At first, Huck enjoys the relief from religion and the sivilized life warnt long after that till I was used to being where I was and liked it... but latter realized he was still trapped in the depressing confines of sivilisation. Huck is subjected to the constant tyrannical treatment inflicted from his father ranging from beatings to being locked up days at a time. Huck coming to a understanding of the cruelty of society, escapes his fathers grasps and finds refugee on Jackson island. Soon, Huck encounters Jim, a Negro slave owned by Miss Watson. Huck sets aside the insignificant differences between him and Jim and agrees to travel together on their common motive, seeking freedom I was ever so glad to see Jim. I warnt lonesome now... By searching for freedom from sivilisation and its beliefs, Huck has learnt to act on the bases of his instincts and rely on his intelligence to over come obstacles instead of simply enduring the ways of society. His acceptance of Jim as a person instead of a property also shows Hucks changing attitudes to the social creed of the 1th century; marking the beginning of his maturity.

Through out Huckleberry Finn, many issues are raised regarding society and its corruption. Among them is the greed and vice which plagues the so called sivilised people. Huck develops through his observation and reaction towards such corruption and immorality as he and Jim journey down the Mississippi River. The mean and foolish people in this book are not Negroes. The mean and foolish people are Hucks pap and those two frauds who are extracting money from the innocent people of Ankanswal and other states by posing as the Duke of Bilgewater and the Dauphin of France. They are the swindlers, members of the mob and feudists who shoot each other for nothing. They are whites. NEW YORK TIMES 1//57. The two main examples of the corruption and immorality demonstrated in Huckleberry Finn and supported in the critics comment is the feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons and the con-men King and Duke.

During Hucks and Jims voyage down the River, they are separated for a while after their raft was destroyed. Huck finds refugee in a family called the Grangerfords but soon finds him self in the middle of a feud towards the Shepherdsons. Both families are presented as respected, educated and sivilised Christians. Ironically, we see them exhibiting no sense of compassion and engages in a violent feud spanning two generations and due to circumstances long forgotten started 0 years ago or somers along there. Huck unable to comprehend the reasons behind the carnage could only watch as every one around him suffers due to the lack of common sense and their rejection of reality. Huck latter finds Jim and retreat back to the sanctuary of the river. The feud between the Gringfords and the sheperdsons depicts mans inhumanity to man RICHARD P. WASOWSKI 001 which in contrast to Huck and Jims unsivilised life shows the immorality of a society which is said to be based so much on the virtues of Christianity.

Following the events of the feud, we are presented with another example of the unsavory aspect of society, this time in the form of greed and selfishness. On the river, two men identifying them selves as the King and Duke appears and invades the peace on the raft. From the beginning, their motive is clear, they are frauds on a constant scheme to steal from unsuspecting victims. Through out the novel, Hucks attitude is always to evade confrontation. This is also the case with the King and Duke It didnt take me long to make up my mind that these liars warnt no kings nor dukes at all, but just low down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing...kept it to my self...dont get into no trouble. Huck initially keeps a low profile and plays alone with the illusion as the con men strip their victims through their gratitude. Their exploitation of blinded citizens first included the king posing as a ex-pirate seeking enlightenment to earn the sympathy and money from gullible victims. It then escalate to shows which took advantage of ...human weakness eg. THE ROYAL NONESUCH!!! LADIES AND CHILDREN NOT ADMITTED. and then draining their money on a meaningless performance. Hucks inaction toward the King and Duke soon ends as they extend their scam to Mary Jane and her sisters which is one of the few people in the novel who are perceived as compassionate and loving. The Duke and King masquerade as their uncles to claim their deceased fathers money and estate. Huck sympathetic of Mary Janes sorrow as the King and Duke take away every thing the have reveals the King and Duke are tricksters and hides the money; destroying their plan.

These two examples demonstrates the corruption and the unethical behavior of the so called sivilised Christians. Hucks observation and reaction towards the feud has strengthen his conscience about the disarray of white society in comparison to Negroes. His reaction towards the King and Duke also marks a important point in Hucks development. Huck have been exposed to the unscrupulous products of society and in the end grew strong enough to work against them. These developments will cause Huck to approach society more skeptically and to confront and accept that the world is not Widow Douglas delusional mirage. This in-turn loosened Hucks bonds with his misunderstood beliefs and to have more confidence in him self and Jim.

One of Hucks great developments is in coming to accept Jim for the human being that he is. To a Southerner of 1885, this was as outrageous as accepting the dignity and sincerity of a Communist has been to many Catholics. Father John Hanrahan. Many critics agree that Hucks relationship and attachment towards Jim is the most important factor in Hucks maturity. During his travels down the Mississippi River with Jim, Huck has developed through his confusion over his supposedly immoral behavior and his triumph over his much doubted social beliefs.

Early in the novel, we see Hucks acceptance of Jim as a person marking the first step in his maturity. However, it wasnt until chapters 15-16 during the fog incident when Huck for the first time considered Jims place in his morals and most importantly in society. The incident unfolded after Huck and Jim is separated for a night during a fog. When Huck finds Jim on the raft asleep the next day, giving no foresight on the consequences of his actions decides to play a prank on Jim trying to convince Jim that he dreamed the entire fog episode. Realizing how worried Jim had been, Huck later regrets his actions. It made me feel so mean I could almost kiss his foot to get him to take it back. In addition to realizing his wrong, Huck is compelled to right his wrong and humble himself and apologizes to Jim. This, considering Hucks previous education on blacks, (white men was absolutely superior to blacks regardless of education, status or principals), was significant victory over society. Huck also must make a moral decision which is conflicting to the institution of slavery when huck is confronted by two slave hunters. Apologizing to Jim was considered a social offense, helping a slave escape at the time was considered as the stealing of property and could have been punished by law. Torn between his conflicting morals and societys institution to slavery, he unwillingly covered Jim. By using his intelligence and quick thinking, he was also able to protect Jim from slavery and profit from the slave hunters. However, to our perspective, what Huck did was morally right, we see him still considering both contracting outcomes ...whats the use you learning to do right when its troublesome to do right and aint no trouble to do wrong...? This to a certain extent shows a development in Huck since he is giving foresight on the possible outcomes of his actions while still not strong enough to make a definite stand on what he believes in.

As Huck and Jim travels down the Mississippi River, he also realizes the emotional complexity never though possible in a Negro. Jims emotional side is revealed when he shows remorse at his cruelty towards his daughter. This honesty and responsibility on comparison to any other White man in the novel shows the strength and compassion of a unsivilised slave. Huck matures and grows from this experience.

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1 Response to "Huckelberry Finn"

  1. Justin Parker Says:

    I was always of the opinion that, where as it may NOT have been the ending that we expected or desired, it was a very realistic ending to the saga and that (really) one could not expect anything else from Huck. If you have been interested just check out this site.

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