Is Huckleberry Finn Civilized?

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“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is about a young boy named Huck who sails down the Mississippi River in order to escape from the civilized society that he was unwillingly placed into. Huck does not live up to the standards his guardian, Widow Douglas, sets for him; instead he questions the society he lives in and follows his own moral codes. Considering that society’s standards are too high, Huck’s actions and beliefs do not make him an uncivilized person but it does makes society seem very hypocritical.

In the novel, to be civilized means to have no conscience and follow the rules marked by society. However, Huck does not follow the social code he was taught, instead he has his own logics and morals which he complies that he gets from his own conscience. Although he never disapproved of slavery as a whole, he gave into his conscience to help his friend Jim. Doing so is enough to show that he has morals and is loyal to his friend Jim, making him a civilized person. There are two scenarios in the novel that demonstrate Huck’s loyalty to Jim, For one, at one point in the story Huck was writing a letter to Miss Watson to retrieve Jim, but ends up tearing up the letter because he knew it is something he should not do. He realizes that Jim is not just a “nigger” but also a human being. Huck then decided that he would help Jim escape. He prays to God because he felt he would be punished for helping Jim but that didn’t stop him from doing what he know was right, “All right, then, I’ll go to hell”. Valuing his own ideas he was going to “set Jim free no matter what moral or physical cost lie ahead.”

Huck is against society’s ideal of civilization mostly because of its hypocrisy. This make him civilized because he knows right from wrong stead of just going along with the rules society set. An example that shows the hypocrisy of society would be the rules that the widow sets; she forbids him to smoke while she takes snuff. She says it is okay to snuff; this is...
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