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Huck Finn

By Jeff-Huang Oct 01, 2014 941 Words
Jeff Huang
Mr. Marc Bourget
English 11B
07 September 2013
Huck Finn’s Moral Development
“The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” is a classic novel written by Mark Twain. The story tells of a young man Huck Finn and his friend Jim, a slave, starting an adventure toward the freedom of Jim. The adventure is not only full with excitement, but also full of moral for Huck to learn. In the beginning of the book, Huck is wild and careless. He plays jokes and tricks on people and believed that is was hilarious. As the story goes on, Huck starts to change into a more mature and caring person.

Everything started with Huck’s father returning back to his life again. Huck knew that his father came back in search of Huck’s wealth, which later taken by his father for alcohol. His father eventually locked Huck inside a cabin to seize more control over Huck. His father was a rough abusive alcoholic, and Huck decided for himself that it would be best for Pap’s influence not to be present in his life. This is the first big step in Huck’s moral development because Huck is now able to think wisely for himself and be able to justify what is right or wrong.

Another very important even that influenced Huck’s moral development happened in chapter 15. Huck and Jim were separated by a thick fog. Jim was found by Huck the next morning and was told that everything that happened was a dream. At this time, Huck’s bad moral was still dominant, which lead to lying to Jim. Later on when Huck told Jim about the truth, Jim scolded Huck, “What do dey stan’ for? I’se gywne to tell you. When I got all wore out wid work, en wid de callin’ for you, en went to sleep, y heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’, en I didn’ k’yer no’ mo’ what become er me en de raft’. En when I wake en fine you back agin, all safe en soun’, de tears come, en I could a got down on my knees en kiss yo’ foot, I’s so thanksful. En all you wuz thinkin’ ‘bout wuz how you could make a fool uv ole Jim wid a lie. Dat truck dah is trash; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren’s en makes ‘em ashamed.” Here we can see the loyalty of Jim towards Huck and how upset he is when Huck lied to him. Huck described the guilt with the feeling: “It made me feel so mean I could almost kissed his foot to get him to take it back.” This was a great change in Huck’s moral development. Huck now is able to feel sympathy toward others. Another great example is when Jim, in chapter 10, was bitten by a snake. Huck found a dead snake and wanted to play a joke on Jim by hiding the dead snake near Jim’s sleeping place. Unfortunately, the dead snake’s mate appeared and bite Jim, who later suffered from the pain cause by the snake bite.

Over the course of the story, it becomes obvious that the King and the Duke are excellent display of example of what is bad and unacceptable. Huck at first was still a rebel and is still too naive to realize the corruption and the lack of morals of the King and the Duke. After the King and the Duke’s involvement with the impersonation of the Wilks brothers, Huck had a relief in his heart when he thought what he finally rid himself of their presence. When all of a sudden, he saw them running towards the raft and he couldn’t take it anymore. “So I wilted down onto the planks then, and give up; and it was all I could do to keep from crying.” This is a perfect example of Huck choosing who should influence him, just like when he chose to leave his father.

Towards the conclusion of the novel, Jim is captured, again, and enslaved by Mr. Phelps. At this time, Huck is having an internal conflict on whether or not to help Jim. According to society, slavery is just and helping slaves escape is just morally wrong. Huck wrote a letter to Miss Watson informing that Jim is with him and she can get Jim back, but he has a second thought. He starts to think about all the great times and adventurous memories he had with him; how Jim is like a brother to him and how Jim educate Huck throughout the adventure. After all the struggling, Huck came up with a conclusion: “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.” It is such an amazing result of how Huck is able to “sacrifice” himself just to help his friend. This is the climax of Huck’s moral development and it is the most important part of the novel.

The story of Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful display of the combination of humor, dramatic irony, and adventure, but the most prominent is the moral development of Huck. Huck encounters many situation and decisions one after another throughout the story. Even though many times society influences almost dragged him away from the correct decision, Huck still makes correct decisions through experience and, most importantly, his own conscience. Mark Twain obviously realized the weak point of human nature; maybe he wrote the story to help those people still struggling to hold on to the importance of self-conscience and good moral

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