In the novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, readers encounter a White boy named Huckleberry Finn, whom is raised in a society where there is prejudice towards African-Americans that are mostly slaves. Over the course of the novel, Huckleberry slowly detaches himself from society through his actions and his lies, such as helping Jim become a “free nigger” (Twain 27). As Huckleberry’s journey with helping Jim become a free man goes on, he gradually separates himself from society. In the beginning of the novel, Huckleberry is treated as an outcast as he attains it from his father. For example, “They call that govment!
A man can’t get his rights in a govment like this. Sometimes I’ve a mighty notion to just leave the country for good and all” (Twain 26). In the selection, Huckleberry’s ‘pap’ is basically complaining about the atrocious society they are living and how it is a society that is corrupt. This is important because Mark Twain uses ‘pap’ as a symbol of negative influence towards Huckleberry and this leads the runaway boy into becoming more self-reliant. By assisting Jim in becoming a sole individual, Huckleberry begins to understand that society is unjust by its views and is being unfair about African-Americans.
This is shown later on in the novel when Huckleberry says, “I didn’t answer prompt. I tried to, but the words wouldn’t come… ‘I wish you would,’ says I, ‘because it’s pap that’s there, and maybe you’d help me tow the raft ashore where the light is. ” At this point in the novel, Huckleberry meets two men on a “skiff” that are searching for “runaway niggers”, however he is reluctant to give Jim up and then faces an internal conflict whether or not to trust his own instincts or follow up on what society believes is ‘right’ (Twain 90). As a result, Huckleberry chooses to lie to the two men and breaks off from society’s morals and values.
By his own decisions and lies, Huckleberry chooses to follow his own moral values and instincts. Towards the end of the novel, Huckleberry states, “‘All right, then, I’ll go to hell’ –and tore it up. It was awful thoughts, and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming… I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again” (Twain 215). Towards the end of the novel, Jim is captured on the Phelp’s farm and Huckleberry decides to write a letter to Miss Watson, his old caretaker; however, he reminisce the journey he has been through with Jim, and resolves to free Jim.
Therefore by doing so, Huckleberry sets himself free from society’s moral views. There are many occurrences in the novel where Huckleberry breaks off with society’s views, whether if it is by his choices made or by his lies. One major point that shows Huckleberry does not follow society’s standards is when he helps Jim become a free individual. His choice to not give up Jim reveals that Huckleberry has developed his own self-reliance from society’s perspective. Work Cited Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1887. Print.
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