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The Adventures of Corrupt Morality

The Adventures of Corrupt Morality

One of society’s favorite figures of speech is that it takes an entire town to raise a child. Such is true in Mark Twain’s, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Through Huck’s journey down the Mississippi River, Twain illustrates the influence society has on the undeveloped morals. As Huckleberry travels he becomes “the impassive observer” and aware of the corruption in the values of society (Eliot 330). Encountering these societies gives Huck a selective morality. No particular social class is left out of his observations. From the poor, lower class to the elite, upper class, Huck observes inconsistencies in morality. In the end, Huck realizes that society is imperfect and corrupt, which ultimately causes him to “light out for the Territory” (Twain 229). Huck Finn develops a selective morality from the corrupt social classes he encounters on the Mississippi River.

Before Huck sets out on his raft adventure, he is exposed to the values and morals of his poor, drunken father. Pap Finn instills a “Southern race prejudice” and leads Huck to believe “that he detests Abolitionists” (Smith 374). Huck comes into conflict with this philosophy as he journeys on the raft with Jim. He can not decide if he is wrong in helping Jim escape slavery or if the philosophy is wrong. The education of Huck also stirs some values from Pap. When Pap tells him that education is useless, Huck is confused because the Widow Douglas told him that education was important. As a result, Huck’s values towards education are uncertain. Pap Finn, as a figure of the lower class, does his part to confuse the growing morals of his son.

Together with Pap, the King and the Duke do their share to put putrid moral ideas into the immature mind of Huck. The King and the Duke earn their living pulling scams on their fellow Americans. For instance, they advertised the “Royal Nonesuch” as a “thrilling tragedy” and charged the farmers in the area fifty cents to come and see it (Twain 121). But, the entire production consisted of the King walking around on all fours naked. They had promised a good show to the crowd, the King and the Duke did not think it was wrong to give the crowd nothing except...

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Category:   Huckleberry Finn

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