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Change In Huck Finn

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Throughout time people have encountered dilemmas that result in change in society. Perhaps change is something that is mistaken as an unwanted struggle for development, but in fact, people overlook their own fear of uncertainty in what benefits change can bring. Countless times in American history, change has been forced upon the people, rather than embraced and accepted with open arms. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain shows Huck Finn’s struggle to alter his values and go against what he’s been raised to believe in society his entire life: African Americans are inferior to whites. In the novel, Twain pairs Huck with a runaway slave, Jim, who is a key character to helping Huck change how he views other people in society. Twain…show more content…
Through the character of a 13-year-old boy, Twain shows how vulnerable Huck is to fall into the societal norm of thinking. Throughout the novel it is crucial to remember that whites at this time did not recognize black slaves as humans, but rather as property. By the way Huck was raised, he sees Jim as a black slave who can’t think for himself and has a very small range of emotions. In one instance in the book when Huck and Jim are stuck on the raft together, Jim starts talking enthusiastically about gaining his freedom and traveling back up the river to “steal” his family back. When Huck hears Jim’s excitement for what Huck knows is breaking a law, he immediately falls back into the learned mindset he was raised to believe: “Saying he would steal his children—children that belonged to a man I didn’t know; a man that hadn’t ever done me no harm” (95). At this point, all Huck knows is that Jim wants to steal “properties” from an innocent white man who hasn’t done anything wrong to deserve it. One of the most key places where Huck demonstrates what he’s been taught by society about African Americans is when Huck tries to explain that there are people from different countries outside of America that speak different languages other than English. Huck and Jim go back and forth arguing over why French people…show more content…
From their growing friendship, Huck is able to see Jim more as an equal human being. All the while, Huck is at conflict with his conscience as his mind reminds him of what he’s been taught to think about slaves, but at the same time his heart strives to tell him to do what he feels is right. During the middle of their journey, Huck recognizes that his morals increasingly try to interfere with what his mind believes society would want him to think. One of the first instances where Huck accumulates more respect for Jim was after a violent storm where Huck took advantage of Jim and tried to trick Jim into thinking he dreamt of a wild storm that separated both of them on the river for hours. In the end Huck gave Jim the respect he deserved as a person and apologized: “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a n****” (92). This is the first symbolic moment where Huck verbally admits his wrong doing to Jim and shows more respect towards him as a person. However, Huck still finds his conscience getting in the way as he almost convinced himself it would be better to write a letter to Jim’s owner, Ms. Watson, and tell her where he is and just end the whole journey down the river, “At last I had an idea; and I says, I’ll go and write the letter—and then see if I can pray”
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