Who is Huckleberry Finn? At the beginning of Mark Twain’s novel, Huckleberry Finn, he seems to be a stereotypical child from the early 1800’s, living the carefree life of a young adolescent boy. But upon closer inspection, Huck is actually a character with complexities and major personal changes experienced throughout the novel. The “personal-journey” structure that is necessary for Huck’s transformation is a characteristic of the bildungsroman genre, which according to Suzanne Hader, author of The Bildungsroman Genre: Great Expectations, Aurora Leigh, and Waterland, is a story of a single individuals growth and development within the context of defined social order (Hader 1). The reality of …show more content…
His worry for the steamboat robbers is an insight towards what kind of person Huck is capable of becoming. The emergence of this new person is seen in his interaction with the Wilks nieces. After the girls treat him so kindly, Huck says to himself,”…this is another one that I’m letting him rob of her money…I felt so ornery and low down and mean that I says to myself, my mind’s made up; I’ll hive that money for them or bust (Twain 169).” Not only is Huck trying to help these girls, but is acknowledging that he too is part of the plot against them and feels remorse for this. For the first time, Huck acts on his conviction and morals to help other people, rather than simply acting on his own desires (Smith 6). Huck has matured from a state of indifference to one of awareness. His actions show that his morality is expanded; one can see that he has a deeper care for …show more content…
However, by the conclusion of the novel, Huck is a crafty, intelligent, wealthy young man who simply does not care to be part of a boring middle-class lifestyle (Smith 9). Following the characteristics of the bildungsroman genre, in which the novel ends with an assessment by the protagonist of himself and his new place in society, Huck has grown in his maturity and morality. He experiences this personal growth through his journey downriver, especially because of Jim. It is on the road of trials that a person begins to experience different obstacles that will change their life forever (7). Huck ran away in order to find freedom, but through his own series of trials and obstacles he found something more valuable- himself.
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Suzanne, Hader. "The Bildungsroman Genre: Great Expectations, Aurora Leigh, and Waterland." The Victorian Web. 21 Feb. 2005.