The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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While there are many themes expressed in the

novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

one makes a stronger presence by its continued,

if not redundant display of itself. Far too often in

society people's lack of knowledge on a given

subject causes their opinions and actions to rely

strictly on stereotypes created by the masses.

This affliction is commonly known as ignorance.

This is curable but people have to become

open-minded and leave their reliance on society's

viewpoints behind them. In the novel, The

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain,

the ignorance of society becomes extremely

evident at many parts of the book. Society forms

ideals for all walks of life and then lets them

become like stone in their minds. Thus, once a

person has been put into a group they will remain

there forever. The ignorance of society is clearly

seen when one looks at Huck Finn, Jim the

Slave, Pap, and the senseless violence of the

Grangerfords and the Shepardsons.

Many people see Huckleberry Finn as a

mischievous boy who is a bad influence to

others. Society refuses to accept Huck as he is

and isn't going to change its opinions about him

until he was reformed and civilized. The Widow

Douglas and Miss Watson try to "sivilize" Huck

by making stop all of his habits such as smoking,

etc. They try to reverse all of his teaching from

the first twelve years of his life and force him to

become their stereotypical good boy. The rest of

the town also refused to view him as good until

they received visual proof of this. Until then, he

will be viewed as someone undesirable. The only

time that the town's people are able to put away

their views of Huck was when there was

excitement to be found, like when they all

crowded on the steamboat to see if the cannons

can bring Huck's body to the surface. Everyone

got interested in him and tried to show that they

cared about him, but this is only after he is

presumed dead. They take on these views to

follow society in its ignorance. Few of them

would have cared about Huck before because

they didn't know him and didn't want to know

him, but since taking interest in mysteries was the

popular thing to do, society did it. Although Huck

is viewed in an ignorant light, he was also in

accordance with this novel and very ignorant

himself. Huck said "I thought it all out, and

reckoned I would belong to the widow if he

wanted me, though I couldn't make out how he

was a-going to be any better off then than what

he was before, seeing I was so ignorant, and so

kind of low-down and ornery." Huck talks about

Pap with some disgust and disregard. While

Huck is not completely afraid of him in this quote

as he later becomes, he still does not show

respect for his father. The following is a good

representation of what Huck does and does not

understand. "I studied a minute, sort of holding

my breath, and then says to myself: ‘All right,

then, I'll go to hell'--and tore it up." Huck wrote

a letter to Miss Watson but tore it up. He decided

that he would go to hell for Jim. Another good

example is when Huck was having problems with

Jim wanting his children back. "...[Jim] would

steal his children -- children that belonged to a

man... a man that hadn't ever done me no

harm." This quote shows that Huck is still

troubled by helping Jim and that he still does not

yet understand that Jim is just as human as those

people who own his children. This shows a stage

in his growth in understanding about slavery and


Society once again set the stereotypes in another

section of the book by their feelings toward Jim

and Pap. Society automatically sees a black

person, and even further, slaves, as inferior.

They never thought of slaves as human beings,

only as property. A slave, such as...
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