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Social Aspects of Huckleberry Finn

Social Aspects of Huckleberry Finn

The story of Huckleberry Finn is one of a young man that struggles with life and its decisions. The struggles with his conscience caused Huck to rethink many of his ideas and actions. Many times by his love of his friendship with Jim, Huck would admit what he did to Jim and apologize for the actions. Without Jim as a friend Huck would not have realized that Jim is the same as everyone else even if he was a slave. Jim is one of the main causes of Huck’s inner self battle over society, friendships, and personal morality. In the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the main character, Huck struggles with his conscience in three ways: social (society) conventions, Jim, and Huck with himself over his own morality.

Huck battles with social conventions in two ways. The first way is intellectually, and the second way is morally. By focusing on Huck's education Huck becomes an outcast and distrusts the morals and precepts of the society that labels him a pariah and fails to protect him from abuse, despite Miss Watsons’ and the Widow Douglas’ attempts to educate and civilize Huck. He learns to distrust the morals of society through Miss Watson’s teaching of prayer and God. With his lack of education, Huck ,unlike most children his age does not understand Miss Watson when she says that he is a fool for praying for three fish hooks (12). Because of this Huck realizes that humans are harmful and can do or cause cruel consequences to each other. “ Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.( 222)” This apprehension about society, and his growing relationship with Jim, lead Huck to question many of the teachings that he received on race. Verbal abuse was as common to Huck and the sun rising in the east. Even though he was allowed into town and lived with the widow’s home; Huck felt as though he was an outsider, someone who had moved into the town only to be shunned because of his lineage. Time and time again Huck chooses to “Go to Hell(268)” rather than go along with what he's been taught. This is ironic because his views are actually ahead of his time. His ideas on racism, slavery, and...

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Category:   Huckleberry Finn

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