Essay, Research Paper: Adventures Of Huck Finn And Morality

Literature: Mark Twain

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In every persons life at one point they will have to make a choice based on
their moral beliefs. These decisions can show what a person believes in right
from the start. In Mark Twains’ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the main
character Huck, makes two very important moral decisions. The first being how he
treats Jim when he first meets him at Jackson’s Island and the second is to
tear up the letter to Miss Watson out of his love for Jim. When Huck first runs
away from Pap he goes to Jackson’s Island and thinks that he is the only
person there. He soon finds out that this is not true, and that “Miss Watsons
Jim”(41) is taking refuge there as well. Many people would hate to be alone on
an island with a “nigger”(43), but Huck is instead happy to have someone to
converse with. At first Jim thinks he sees Hucks ghost and is petrified. Huck
eases Jims feelings by changing the subject and saying “It’s good daylight,
le’s get breakfast”(41), showing that Huck is not only real but he does not
mind that Jim is black. Jim feels that Huck might tell on him for running away,
but he then decides that it will be okay to tell him why he ran away from Miss
Watson. Jim keeps asking Huck if he is going to tell anyone about his running
away, and Huck replies “People would call me a low down abolitionist and
despise me for keeping mum but that don’t make no difference I aint gonna
tell”(43). Hucks response truly shows that his ignorance has no bearing over
his moral kindness. When taken into consideration good morality is much more
important in the long run than being the most intelligent person. After
journeying with Jim for quite some time Huck begins to feel bad about harboring
a runaway slave. He decides to write a letter to Miss Watson explaining the
whole story, because Jim had been sold and he does not know where he is. Huck
was indeed confused about what he should do so he dropped he dropped to his
knees and began to pray. He felt by helping Jim he was committing a sin, but he
later realized “you can’t pray a lie”(205). Huck saying this shows that he
feels what he has done for Jim is not wrong; instead what others had done to Jim
is wrong. Still not sure of what to do about the whole situation Huck writes the
letter to Miss Watson, thinking he will be “cleaned of sin”(206) and not
feel so bad about what he is doing. After writing this letter of confession to
Miss Watson, Huck starts to reminisce about the times he had with Jim. As he is
thinking he comes across the times Jim would be “standing my watch on top of
his’n, stead of calling me so I could go on sleeping”(206). Huck begins to
realize that he would not be able to “strike no places to harden me against
him”(206), showing that he realizes that Jim has done nothing but good for
him. Huck looks at what he is doing and feels ashamed. He takes one final look
at the letter before saying “all right then, I’ll go to hell”(206) and
then rips up the letter of confession. The fact that Huck looked back at his
times with Jim before deciding to tear up the letter shows that the decision was
obviously made conscientiously through his morals. Hucks morality has a major
effect on the way he treats Jim at Jackson’s Island and in his decision to
tear up the confession letter to Miss Watson. The manner that these decisions
are made shows that Huck does indeed have a good set of morals, which he uses to
make his decisions. A lack of these Morals could give one of the greatest
adventure novels ever written a completely different ending.
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