Huck Finn Essay

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Brendan Long
Woldendorp D
Period 5/6
11.27.12

Huck Finn Essay: Overcoming Society’s Influence
People develop into individuals due to many outside influences. The most significant influence on people is society itself. However, while society influences opinions and ideas of people, the most important morals that people have remain intact despite the disparaging effects of society. Mark Twain demonstrates through the character “Huck” in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” that society corrupts the beliefs and opinions of people, but fails to overshadow their fundamental morals and principles.

The effects of society on individuals are clear in the presence of racism in Huck Finn. Huck is a young boy, whose opinions are all based on what society has taught him. He grew up practically an orphan, with a nomadic, drunk father, so his ideas have been instilled on him by his friends, and society, rather than by his family. Society’s dehumanization of the slaves is shown in a conversation between Huck and Aunt Sally. The two converse over if anyone was hurt on the boat, and Huck tells Aunt Sally, “No’m. Killed a n****r” (232). Huck’s statement signifies that a slave had died, however, Aunt Sally replies, “Well, it’s lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt” (232). This statement so blatantly dehumanizes black people that it shows how white society treats black people as lesser beings. Aunt Sally shows how white society overlooks black struggle and even death, in its selfish, Darwinist view of the world. This dehumanization also causes the slaves to become easy targets as the reason for problems in white society. In “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, the townspeople originally blame Jim for the “death” of Huck. This shows the persecution of the slaves, because not only are they viewed as less than human, they also are blamed for everything that goes wrong. This is easy to do for the whites, because the slaves have almost no rights and thus are...
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