Escape from Civilization :An Analysis of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Escape from Civilization :An Analysis of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is one of the central works of American literature. It is about the life of a low level white society boy, named Huck who finds himself running into his drunk abusive father who comes back to town and takes him away. When Huck escapes, he comes across a runaway slave, named Jim. They do not feel comfortable at first being from different levels in society, but once they get out of numerous situations together, such as loosing two con men on river or freeing Jim after he has been sold, it loosens the tension between them and they become good friends to the point where Huck helps Jim escape to the north to be free. This friendship consisted of loyalty and trust. They relied on one an another, and knew that the other would come through to get themselves out of sticky circumstances where it could be the matter of life or death. This novel traces the moral education of a young boy whose better impulses overcome both self interest and the negative forces of his culture. Mark Twain uses characterization, setting, and irony to emphasize his theme that when a person believes something to be right and just, he should do what his morals believe rather than what the normal society accepts as true.

Many characters in this novel exemplify treating someone the way they should be treated contrary to what society thinks. Huck is the main character in the novel. He is a protagonist who survives on his own wits. He is thoughtful, intelligent, and willing to come to his own conclusions even if they contradict society. He helps Jim, a household slave, escape from his old owner to the north to be a free man. Even though he goes against what his society believes is wrong, he still feels that it is the right thing to do. “Intuitive morality, which argues that humans are naturally able to distinguish between right and wrong, and utilitarian morality, which claims instead that observation of one’s social environment and the quest for personal gratification shape moral behavior” suggested by W.E.H. Lecky’s History of European Morals. Mark Twain, the author of the novel, has skepticism of the value of civilized morality, which leads him to conclude that only in complete isolation can one find moral integrity.

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