Huckleberry Finn's Moral Dilemma

Topics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mississippi River, Mark Twain Pages: 6 (1196 words) Published: May 12, 2014
Moral Decisions Faced by Huckleberry Finn (#5)
Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, encompasses a wide variety of moral implications faced by the main character, Huckleberry Finn. In the beginning, Huck was forced to decide what to do regarding his father. He could continue to subside to his father's actions, which would result in more abuse, or he could run away to escape the trauma he faced at home. Huck chose the latter, and embarked on a journey down the Mississippi River with Jim, the escaped slave. Throughout his journey, Huck would face many more difficult moral decisions. From realizing he was inadvertently helping Jim escape slavery, to ruining the Duke and King's plan, young Huckleberry Finn was forced to make many important decisions based solely upon his natural instinct. Huckleberry Finn raised himself. His father was an alcoholic, and would abuse Huck whenever he had the chance. For a short time, Huck was living with Miss Watson, who took great care of him, but he was very resistant to her "proper" ways of life. Huck would much rather be on the river than dressed in nice clothes doing schoolwork. Once he escaped from his father with Jim, he became his own teacher. There was nobody to guide him in the right direction as Miss Watson had attempted. As a result, he relied solely on his instincts for any decision that he faced. Although many would be lost in this situation, young Huck Finn contained a very prevalent conscience, which often guided him on the correct moral path. Even though Huck found himself in the wrong group of people multiple times, his conscience would soon alert him to create a plan to escape safely. He followed his conscience so devotedly that even in a time when slavery was accepted amongst almost everyone, Huck decided to continue exploring the river with Jim. Huck decided to follow his gut in this circumstance because he had made a real connection with Jim, regardless of Jim’s skin color. These types of choices depicted the character of Huckleberry Finn in a very positive manner. Instead of being as low as many people were in that time period, the type of choices that Huck makes on his journey down the Mississippi show that even though he may be uneducated, Huck Finn’s instincts guided him to be a very caring and loving individual.

One of the first moral decisions that Huckleberry Finn makes is when he is in the company of the “Duke” and “King.” The Duke and King attempted to scam a local area by posing to be the brothers of a man in the town who had recently passed away. The three of them stay for a few days, rooming with the family, eating with them, and preparing the ceremonies. The Duke and King planned on escaping with the funds that they had gathered through donations from the funeral, until Huck’s conscience prevailed in his judgment. He did not want to take part in such a scam, especially after he had gotten personally close with the family and one of the daughters, Mary Jane. “I says to myself, this is another one that I’m letting him rob her of her money” (Twain 175). As a result, Huck decided to go and hide the stashed money from the Duke and King. “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 175). He ended up hiding the money in the casket of the deceased brother, for Mark Jane walked in as Huck was trying to find a place to hide the bag of money. “’I put it in the coffin. It was in there when you was crying there, away in the night. I was behind the door, and I was mighty sorry for you, Miss Mary Jane’” (Twain 190). This decision that Huck made is a perfect example of the character that was depicted throughout the novel. Huck began to care about the family unlike the Duke and King, and he knew that the right thing to do would be to save them of this robbery. He risked being caught by the scammers in order to help out people that he had barely even met, all as a result of...
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