The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
#1 -Huck has a grim attitude towards Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson. Huck has a grim attitude toward people he disagrees with or doesn’t get along with. Huck tends to alienate himself from those people. He doesn’t let it bother him. Unlike most people Huck doesn’t try to make his point. When Huck has a certain outlook on things he keep his view. He will not change it for anyone. For instance in Chapter Three when Miss Watson tells Huck that if he prayed he would get everything he wished for.
“Huck just shook his head yes and walked away telling Tom that it doesn’t work because he has tried it before with fishing line and fishing hooks. ” This tells us that Huck is an independent person who doesn’t need to rely on other people. #5 – How is Jim betrayed? How does Huck react? What does this show about his character? How has he changed his mind about Jim at this point? Jim is very much like a father to Huck. He looks out for Huck and he is respected and looked upon by Huck. This is also more significant because Huckleberry Finn never had a father and he never really had a role model.
Jim serves this purpose perfectly. Throughout all of his adventures Jim shows compassion as his most prominent trait. He makes the reader aware of his many superstitions and Jim exhibits gullibility in the sense that he Jim always assumes the other characters in the book will not take advantage of him. One incident proving that Jim acts naive occurs halfway through the novel, when the Duke first comes into the scene “By right I am a duke! Jim’s eyes bugged out when he heard that… ” In the novel, Huck Finn, one can legitimately prove that compassion, superstitious and gullibility illustrate Jim’s character perfectly.
To begin with, among the many characteristics of Jim, his compassionate nature shows throughout the book. When Huck and Jim come across the floating boathouse, Jim finds a dead man inside. He advises Huck not to look as he says, “It’s a dead man… dead two er three days… come in Huck, but doan’ look at his face. ” At the end of the book the reader finds out that the dead man turns out as Huck’s father. Further on down the river, Huck and Jim engage in a deep conversation. Jim speaks of the family he feels he has left behind.
Jim tries hard to save up all his money in hopes of buying back his wife and children when he becomes a free man. He expresses that he feels terrible for leaving behind his family and misses them very much. As a result, Huck feels responsible and guilty for ruining Jim’s freedom. Huck decides that he wants to reveal the truth, that Jim really isn’t a free man. His conscience tells him not to and instead he finds himself helping Jim rather than giving him up. Jim feels so thankful to Huck when he says “. . . it’s all on account of Huck, I’s a free man, … you’s the best friend Jim’s ever had…
” #6 – Huck is constantly rebelling against “civilization” in the story. Has he become more “civilized” at the end of the novel? Why or why not? The conflict between society and the individual is a theme portrayed throughout Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. Huck was not raised in accord with the accepted ways of civilization. He practically raises himself, relying on instinct to guide him through life. As portrayed several times in the novel, Huck chooses to follow his innate sense of right, yet he does not realize that his own instincts are more moral than those of society.
From the very beginning of Huck’s story, Huck clearly states that he did not want to conform to society; “The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me… I got into my old rags and my sugar hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. ” When Pap returns for Huck, and the matter of custody is brought before the court, the reader is forced to see the corruption of society. The judge rules that Huck belongs to Pap, and forces him to obey an obviously evil and unfit man. One who drinks profusely and beats his son.
Later, when Huck makes it look as though he has been killed, we see how civilization is more concerned over finding Huck’s dead body than rescuing his live one from Pap. This is a society that is more concerned about a dead body than it is in the welfare of living people. The theme becomes even more evident once Huck and Jim set out, down the Mississippi. Huck enjoys his adventures on the raft. He prefers the freedom of the wilderness to the restrictions of society. Also, Huck’s acceptance of Jim is a total defiance of society. Ironically, Huck believes he is committing a sin by going against society and protecting Jim.
He does not realize that his own instincts are more morally correct than those of society’. In chapter sixteen, we see, perhaps, the most inhumane action of society. Huck meets some men looking for runaway slaves, and so he fabricates a story about his father on the raft with smallpox. 6. Huck constantly rebelling against “civilization” in the story. This is a book of social criticism. Twain has his ways of criticizing people of their actions and the things they do. Twain does a good job expressing the characters social behaviors.
Instead of upfront making fun of Hulks actions he hints towards them or tries to glorify them when he does something that is socially wrong or unintelligent. Huck stages his death. This is not a real bright thing to do even though Huck’s father is real mean and is a threat to his life and Huck’s life. Huck wants to get away from him so bad that the first thing that comes into his mind is to stage his death so Pap will think he’s dead and won’t be looking for him ever again. Twain feels that by making Huck do this Twain is poking fun at Huck’s intelligence. Not his nature intelligence but his book intelligence.
In other words Twain is making fun of Huck. #8 – In what way is Huck a slave? Throughout the incident on pages 66-69 in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck fights with two distinct voices. One is siding with society, saying Huck should turn Jim in, and the other is seeing the wrong in turning his friend in, not viewing Jim as a slave. Twain wants the reader to see the moral dilemmas Huck is going through, and what slavery ideology can do to an innocent like Huck. Huck does not consciously think about Jim’s impending freedom until Jim himself starts to get excited about the idea.
The reader sees Huck’s first objection to Jim gaining his freedom on page 66, when Huck says, “Well, I can tell you it made me all over trembly and feverish, too, to hear him, because I begun to get it through my head that he was most free-and who was to blame for it? Why, me. I could get that out of my conscience, no how nor no way. ” Huck is hearing the voice of society at this point, not his own. He does not see a moral dilemma with Jim being free; he is opposed to the fact that he is the one helping him. This shows Huck misunderstanding of slavery.
Huck does not treat Jim like a slave when they travel together, this shows the reader that Huck views Jim as an equal in most ways. Huck sees having a slave only as owning the person, not actually being a slave to someone. Therefore, when he helps Jim runaway it would be like stealing. This conscience is telling him that Miss Watson, Jim’s master, never did anything wrong to him and that he shouldn’t be doing a wrong to her by helping Jim escape. This is a totally different view of Miss Watson from Huck’s perspective. Huck always disliked Miss Watson, but now that this society voice plays a part in Huck’s judgment his views are changed.
This society views allows Huck to see Jim, a friend, only as a slave and Miss Watson, almost a foe in his young views, as a dear friend. Twain is showing the reader the gross injustices of slavery in this little incident, as well as his moral opposition to slavery. #2 – Describe Pap. Use his own words (textual examples) to support your description. My heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’,”(Pg. 85) was what Jim told Huckleberry when he found him again after they had been separated. This is a perfect example of how much Jim sincerely cares about Huck.
Huck definitely has very close and father-like relationship with the runaway slave, Jim. On the other hand, his real father, Pap, is less father figure to Huck than a runaway African American slave. Pap is very violent and abusive towards Huck. By looking at Huck’s relationships with Pap and Jim and how they are different and similar in some ways, Huck’s relationship with Pap, and Huck’s relationship with Jim the reader can see how they all relate. Although the relationships between Huck and Pap and Huck and Jim may seem extremely different, they are also quite similar in some ways.
Both are father figures for Huck in a way. Although Huck is related to Pap through blood, Jim, who is a slave, cares more for Huck and is more nurturing than Pap is. “Come in, Huck, but doan’ look at his face – it’s too gashly. ” (Pg. 50) Jim said this as he found the body of Huck’s father, Pap. This shows how Jim didn’t want Huck to be upset by knowing that his father is dead. Also, Huck is in danger staying with both of these people. With staying with Pap, Huck is in danger because of his father’s abusiveness. Jim and Pap are also alike because of the fact that both of these people don’t like their place in society.
Pap wants to be wealthier and higher up in society, whereas Jim only wants to escape slavery and own himself. Pap is a very violent drunk. He lives on the outskirts of town, and goes into town only to get alcohol and become intoxicated. “I borrowed three dollars from Judge Thatcher, and pap took it and got drunk, and went a-blow-ing around and cussing and whooping and carrying on; and he kept it up all over town, with a tin pan, till most midnight; then they jailed him, and next day they in had him before court, and jailed him again for a week. “, (Pg. 21) #2 – What commentary is Mark Twain making about his society in this novel?
Choosing Right Over Wrong Maturity is knowing when to do the right thing and following up on one’s commitment even when he or she is tempted to do wrong. Huck Finn, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, is faced with such temptations and situations where he is able to make the right choice and mature physically, mentally, and spiritually. He is able to avoid bad decisions, which leads him to become a more mature, established young man. Although Huck Finn finds himself acting immature at times, he still fully demonstrates maturity by the end of the novel.
Throughout the novel, Huck is able to recognize what is wrong and decipher what should be right. Huck realizes that the King and Duke are taking advantage of the girl’s inheritance money. He realizes that what they are doing is incorrect and something should be done. This is first demonstrated when Huck states, “It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race” (175). This shows that Huck is developing a conscience and that he is able to recognize that what the Duke and King are doing is morally wrong. He determines that taking and robbing from innocent people is not what humans are supposed to do.
This is also evident when Huck states, “I say to myself this is a girl that I’m letting that old reptile rob her of her money! ” (188). This thought established by Huck shows that he can distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. Huck also shows maturity by allowing negative situations to pass by and misdirected conversation to stop, by not arguing more excessively than necessary. This is recognized when Huck states, “Well, I couldn’t see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn’t try for it. But I never said so, because it would only make trouble, and wouldn’t do no good” (11).