The Path to Maturity

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The Path to Maturity
In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck Finn starts down his path to maturity when he fakes his death and travels down the Mississippi River with Jim, a runaway slave. As the story progresses, Huck encounters tough decisions that he must make that requires him to grow up quickly. When he first meets up with Jim, he realizes the importance of keeping his word and the effect his words can have on the lives of others. After he reunites with Jim when they lose each other in fog, Huck understands he must take responsibility for his actions and stand behind them. While spending time with Jim, Huck soon learns that blacks are, in fact, not very different from whites and he begins to think for himself. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain describes Huck’s journey from a young child into a mature adolescent. As Huck’s adventure begins, the reader encounters Huck’s first advancement towards maturity when he understands the importance of keeping his word. When Huck finds Jim on Jackson’s Island, they start talking about how they both happened upon the island. While Huck explains how he faked his death, Jim prepares to tell him about his own escape when he makes Huck promise not to tell anyone. Huck promises not to, and Jim proceeds to tell him that he ran away. Jim’s confession shocks Huck, and Jim reminds Huck that he gave him his word that he would tell no one. Huck responds with: “Well, I did. I said I wouldn’t, and I’ll stick to it. Honest injun, I will. People will call me a low-down Abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum- but that don’t make no difference” (Twain 53-54). Huck begins his road to maturity with his decision to keep his word. Prior to faking his death, Huck would have said anything to anyone as long as they would listen to him. Huck now realizes that his words can drastically affect another person, in this case Jim. If he were to tell someone that Jim had run away, slave...
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