The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Society And The River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops criticism of society by contrasting Huck and Jim's life on the river to their dealings with people on land. Twain uses the adventures of Huck and Jim to expose the hypocrisy, racism, and injustices of society.

Throughout the book hypocrisy of society is brought out by Huck's dealings with people. Miss Watson, the first character, is displayed as a hypocrite by Huck "Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she wouldn't. …And she took snuff too; of course that was all right, because she done it herself" (Twain 8). Huck did not understand why she does not want him to smoke, "That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don't know nothing about it" (Twain 8).

When Huck encounters the Grangerfords and Shepardsons he describes Colonel Grangerford as, " …a gentleman, you see. He was a gentleman all over; and so was his family"(Twain 86). On Sunday when Huck goes to church he sees the hypocriticalism of the families, "The men took their guns along, …The Shepardsons done the same. I t was pretty ornery preaching-all about brotherly love, and such-like…" (Twain 90).

Huck with his anti-society attitude, you would presume that he would have no problem in helping Jim. Yet he fights within himself about turning over Jim to the authorities, by this action within Huck shows that he must have feelings that slavery is correct so that the racial bigotry of the time may be seen. This decision for Huck is monumental even though he makes it on the spot. He has in a way decided to turn his back on everything that "home" stands for, this allows us to leave our thought of bigotry behind and begin to see Jim for what he really is a man.

Huck's attitude for Jim is racist which is seen when he decides to play a trick on Jim during their voyage. After Huck plays his trick his attitude...
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