Huck Finn

872 Words4 Pages
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The conflict between society and the individual is a very important theme portrayed throughout Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Many people see Huckleberry Finn as a mischievous boy who is a bad influence to others. Huck is not raised in agreement with the accepted ways of civilization. He practically raises himself, relying on instinct to guide him through life. As seen several times in the novel, Huck chooses to follow his innate sense of right, yet he does not realize that his own instincts are more right than those of society. Society refuses to accept Huck as he is and isn't going to change its opinions about him until he is reformed and civilized. The Widow Douglas and Miss Watson try to "sivilize" Huck by making him stop all of his habits, such as smoking. They try to reverse all of his teachings from the first twelve years of his life and force him to become their stereotypical good boy. However, from the very beginning of the novel, Huck clearly states that he does not want to conform to society. "The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me...I got into my old rags and my sugar hogshead again, and was free and satisfied." (page 1) Huck says this shortly after he begins living with the Widow Douglas because it is rough for him to be confined to a house and the strict rules of the Widow Douglas. Huck’s father, a dirty and dishonest drunk, was also a problem. He was so angry that his son could read, that he severely beat him and then forced him to stay in a secluded cabin. Huck then devises a plan to escape and heads down river were he teams up with Jim, a runaway slave. The theme becomes even more evident once Huck and Jim set out down the Mississippi. As they run from civilization and are on the river, they ponder the social injustices forced upon them when they are on land. The river never cares how saintly they are, how rich they are, or what society thinks of them. The river allows Huck the one thing that Huck wants to be, and that is Huck. Huck enjoys his adventures on the raft. He prefers the freedom of the wilderness to the restriction of society. Also, Huck's acceptance of Jim is a total defiance of society. Society automatically sees a black person, and even further, slaves, as inferior. They never think of slaves as human beings, only as property.

More about Huck Finn

Open Document