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Huck

By 200327 Nov 08, 2013 517 Words
Twain opposed many of the ideologies of his time. Through his novel Huckleberry Finn, he explored human nature and the society. He made apparent his dislike for them. The book focus's on the general treatment of black people during this time. Specifically, the author criticizes morality, slavery and racism. The characters encountered in Huckleberry Finn do not have very high moral standards. Many of them think and act very irrationally. Huck again and again returns to this idea of being 'sivilized'. During his stay with the widow and Miss Watson, he scorns the idea as well as fears it because he believes that civilization is a loss of the freedom that living outdoors without adult supervision brings him. Huck rebels against becoming civilized every chance he gets-perhaps because he thinks that if he should succumb and live the way everyone else does he will become like them. However, he is separate from them in many ways. Society's idea of civilization, as demonstrated by Judge Thatcher and Miss Watson, is being well-behaved, God-fearing, polite to your superiors, and sticking to the status quo. If this path is followed, the end result is going to heaven. Being civilized relates strongly to religion and the concept of heaven and hell because being civilized leads you to heaven, according to popular belief in the south; a commentary Mark Twain repeatedly makes in a derisive manner regarding the society of Huck Finn. These are the lessons the judge and the widow try to indoctrinate him with but Huck cannot bring himself to do these things. In the beginning of Huck's story, he says, 'All right, then I'll go to hell' maybe because he believes that the price for the kind of heaven the widow described is too steep, or because he cannot yet understand the concept of heaven and so believes it must be simply a very dull place indeed if Tom will not be there. Or perhaps because he does not have the same sense of entitlement one must have to be a slave owner, for example. When Huck fakes his demise and crosses paths with Jim, he soon sees him as an equal, and says he will go to hell if that is what it takes for him to be a true friend to Jim, his emollient father figure and loyal companion. His crisis of conscience towards the end of the novel demonstrates that he wants to be good, but he is unsure of what that means because by society's standards 'being good' would mean sending the letter telling Jim's owner where he is. In his heart, though being good means helping Jim escape from his captors, which is the choice he ultimately makes. In this way, society inhibits and mangles the growth of his strong moral compass, because he believes that he is going to hell, even though he also believes he made the right choice. Huck is a benevolent person. He treats people well, and feels consuming guilt for any transgressions he needs to commit in order to preserve his precarious lifestyle. He is generally a good person.

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