Society’s Human Nature
Tacitus once said, “In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous” Tacitus describes that corruption often flourishes when a government abides only in their laws. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain portrays the social distinctions of a southern society in the 1800’s. The townspeople of St. Petersburg live in a country where slavery is still permitted by the government. Although Huckleberry Finn interacts with the community, he also connects with the world away from it. The different characters in Huck Finn depict multiple aspects of human nature in civilization. Some aspects include morals, values, savagery, civility, and liberty. Huckleberry Finn mainly emphasizes savagery and civility.
In the plot of the story, a few characters illustrate the aspect of savagery. Mark Twain focuses on the hypocrisy of slavery. Miss Watson and Mrs. Phelps see no connection between their religious views and the ownership of slaves. Their morals and values don’t interfere with the immoral ownership of slaves. This shows the corruption and savagery of both Miss Watson and Mrs. Phelps. Furthermore, the duke, the dauphin, and even Tom Sawyer use both Huck and Jim for their own benefits. “Whenever we see anybody coming we can tie Jim hand and foot with a rope, and lay him in the wigwam and show this handbill and say we capture him up in the river…” the duke explains. When the duke discovers that Jim is a slave, he uses Jim as a coverup for their wrongdoings, another act of savagery. Equally important, Tom says, “...Why, I wanted the adventure of it; and it’s waded neck-deep in blood to goodness alive, Aunt Polly!” In this scene, Tom knows that Jim was freed by Miss Watson. However, he doesn’t tell anyone this information. He does this for his own adventure. Tom exposes Jim to danger for his own enjoyment. These corrupt actions taken by Miss Watson, Mrs. Phelps, the duke, and Tom Sawyer show the savagery of their society....
Please join StudyMode to read the full document