Huck Is a Non-Conformist

Topics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Slavery in the United States Pages: 4 (1454 words) Published: March 19, 2006
"Self-Reliance" vs. Huckleberry Finn
In Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance," he defends the personality traits that every creative human being possesses and a person's intellectual independence, which enables him to surpass the achievements of previous generations. Emerson explains how most of society is made up of conformists, people that simply conform to a past technique created by earlier innovators. Against being a conformist, Emerson chooses to support being a creator, or a person who has the courage to trust himself and disagree with society's beliefs. During earlier centuries, society was mostly grouped together in mobs, but Emerson challenges this trend and suggests individuality. Emerson's ideas of self-reliance connect to the themes and characters in Mark Twain's novel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Huck's inner struggle of conforming to society or rebelling against it. The most obvious line in Emerson's essay, which relates particularly to Twain's novel, states that "society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members" (391). This quote from Emerson signifies how Huck's society is harshly against all black slaves. Mark Twain is able to create Huckleberry Finn, a young, immature boy who undergoes an adventurous journey in which he develops maturity, individuality, and intellect while resisting the urge to conform towards society's anti-black beliefs while traveling with Jim on the river.

The main character in Mark Twain's novel, Huckleberry Finn, resembles an individual. An example of this can be seen while Huck and Jim are on the river, and

Huck decides to hide Jim from any threatening strangers. Huck does not conform towards society's anti-black beliefs, and instead he stands strongly against harming them. During his rough journey on the river, Huck proves himself as a brave individual by not telling anyone that he is helping Jim escape. Huck risks his own life by lying to another...
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