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Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck is a person to be admired. His caring attitudes and blunt honesty prove that he is a great person. Although Huck can be seen lying, cheating and stealing, he does these things out of necessity and as a result of his poor upbringing. These negative attributes don’t affect his overall high character.

Huck Finn has many great aspects, but he is fallible and capable of doing wrong. He often lies, cheats, and steals simply to survive and get out of trouble. Huck also displays this bad behavior as a result of his poor upbringing. Much of this behavior was learned from his father, as evidenced in the following passage. “Pap always said it warn’t no harm to borrow things if you was meaning to pay them back some time; but the widow said it warn’t anything but a soft name for stealing, and no decent body would do it” (65). It is this learned behavior, his desire to survive and “get out of jams,” and society’s negative influences, such as its view that slavery is right, that motivates him in doing wrong.

Although Huck can sometimes be labeled as a miscreant, he is actually a very honest person. In a literal sense, Huck doesn’t always exhibit honest behavior. However, it is Huck’s realistic and slightly naive view of society that is honest--he sees things for what they truly are. One example of this honesty occurs when Huck helps Jim to freedom. While he doesn’t view his own actions as honorable, the reader can infer that they are. Huck feels guilty for his role in Jim’s escape, knowing that he was doing something society would have scorned. He says,

"I couldn’t get it out of my conscience, no how nor no way. It got to troubling me so I couldn’t rest; I couldn’t stay still in one place. It hadn’t ever come home to me before, what this thing was that I was doing. But now it did; and it stayed with me, and scorched me more and more...I got to feeling so mean and miserable I most wished I was dead" (88).

Huck is honest with himself and his feelings.
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