Huck Finn

analytical Essay
1128 words
1128 words

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, can largely be considered a critique of society during Twain's time, and a satirical attack on the post-Reconstruction society in which Twain lived. In his story, a young boy named Huck Finn faces a daunting moral conundrum as he experiences a series of adventures while on the run with a runaway slave named Jim. As he spends more time with Jim, Huck soon realizes that Jim is not that different from him, and contrary to what he has been led to believe thus far, Jim has emotions and is just as human as any other white person. This comes as a shock to Huck, who exclaims that it "isn't natural" that Jim, a black man, cares just as much about his children and family as any white man. The fact that Jim cries and laments over his children missing him, and expresses grief over hitting his deaf daughter Lizabeth, forces Huck to the realization that Jim is a human. Huck's recognition of Jim's humanity goes against everything that he has been taught, and is contrary to how most white people in his society see blacks.
Although Twain sets his novel in the pre-Civil War South, the society in which he resided still was largely of the notion that blacks were not of the same species as whites. Twain uses his novel as a symbol of this fact, and uses Huck as a symbol of what needs to happen in the hearts of all white people: realize the humanity of blacks. The strongly held belief that black people were not even people at all is evident in one exchange between Huck and his 'Aunt Sally.' In responding to Sally's question of if anyone was hurt in the explosion of the steamboat Huck was on, Huck tells her, "No'm. Killed a nigger" (Twain 213). To this, Sally exclaims that it is lucky, beca...

... middle of paper ... to help Jim and go against society is a dark satire of the sick racism present within Twain's society, and Huck and his eventual revelation are a lesson by Twain in what his society needed to learn; that blacks are just as human as whites. Huck is an amoral rebel; a dirty nonconformist, yet is actually the only truly moral one in his entire society. Although he believes that what he is doing will surely send him to Hell, Huck's defiance of what is 'right' is a meritorious act of selflessness and compassion, and shows Huck's true values overriding the false conscience that society has instilled in him. Huck Finn is an incredible case of a rebel going against his society to do what he believes in, and the ironic morality of society in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn shines a light on the fact that what society expects of a person is not necessarily what is right.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how mark twain's the adventures of huckleberry finn is a critique of society during his time, and satirical attack on the post-reconstruction society.
  • Analyzes how twain uses huck as a symbol of what needs to happen in the hearts of all white people to realize the humanity of blacks.
  • Analyzes how huck is constantly working to protect jim from being captured, despite society telling him that jim is property and that he must be returned to his owner, miss watson.
  • Analyzes how huck's dilemma ends with his ultimate moral revelation and decision on what to do about jim.
  • Analyzes how huck's decision to run away to the west is a recurring idea in the adventures of huckleberry finn.
  • Opines that huck's running away to the west at the end of the story is a representation of twain himself, in that neither wishes to conform to what society expects them to be.
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