Essay, Research Paper: Adventures Of Huck Finn By Twain

Literature: Mark Twain

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Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a perfect example of
how one’s heart and morals can change in difficult situations. Huck’s
journey down the Mississippi River tested him to his limits of being able to
handle situations in the way which he had been raised. Huck shows that how one
is raised is something that will impact them tremendously in the rest of their
life and that it is hard to change from what you’ve been molded into. Early in
the novel Huck shows how much of a rebellious and joking boy he truly is.
"I put out the light and I scrambled out of the window…,"(pg. 17)
says Huck. Huck, at a young age, began getting himself into many difficult
situations, such as escaping from the cave in Tom Sawyer. Huck often has a hard
time abiding by rules, keeping himself out of trouble, and comprehending the
things he has been taught. However, he does learn one thing, that he is better
than the Negroes. So, as young boys, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer spend a good bit
of their time playing tricks on Ms. Watson’s slave, Jim. "He slipped
Jim’s hat off his head and hung it on a limb right over him…,"(pg. 19)
tricks like these which Huck is never punished for are part of what confirm the
teaching that he is in fact better than blacks. This conditioning as a young
child is what makes it difficult for him to deal with Jim as an equal later in
life. Once on the river Huck has a much more difficult time as he not only has
to deal with Jim but also the King and Duke who join them on their journey. The
King and Duke’s actions around Huck make him realize that he needs to change
his morals. When Huck realizes that the King and Duke are impostors his learning
experience begins. "It didn’t take me long to make up my mind that these
liars warn’t no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and
frauds." This statement shows that Huck has feelings about the King and
Duke that show that his morals are of the kind which will not selfishly go
against other’s trust. Once the King and Duke decide on cheating the Wilks
family, Huck says, " It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human
race."(pg. 225) When he says this it shows that he is definitely changing
for the better. Until the trip down the river Huck’s life was something that
he never took very seriously. He would play jokes on innocent people just to see
what would happen, such as when he and Tom hung Jim’s hat on the tree branch.
As the river brings Huck and Jim together in a strong friendship, Huck sees that
Jim is actually an equal who has feelings. So when it comes time for Huck to go
against everything he has ever been taught, he does it, just to save Jim.
"All right, then, I’ll go to hell,"(pg. 297), says Huck just as he
decides that he’ll go ahead and do all he can to get Jim out of his life as a
"slave" once and for all. This action shows that his sound heart took
precedence over everything that his mentors placed in his mind. This turn around
shows that Huck is a very civilized human being with a conscience that changes
from what he was taught to what he truly believes in. Huck breaks free of his
mold and becomes his own person. As soon as Huck realizes that his morals are
incorrect he immediately begins changing them. His change from a person who
plays jokes on Negroes for the fun of it to a person who steals them from
slavery is a transition for the better. Huck Finn most definitely demonstrates
the victory of a sound heart over a deformed conscience.
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