The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

1009 Words5 Pages
While not every cause is worth fighting for, notable men like; Huckleberry Finn, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Atticus Finch, and Ralph from Lord of the Flies recognize that when something’s worth fighting for, one needs to sacrifice for those thing bigger than them. Hence, men who have empathy along with selflessness, honor and integrity can be a leader for a cause they believe in. In the mid-1800’s, slavery was still prevalent in the South. Huck, a teenager about the same age as our eighth grade class, puts his life at risk in order to help Jim, a runaway slave, escape to the North. In doing this, Huck shows selflessness, because he is willing to get caught and punished for a cause bigger than himself. “I do not wish any reward, but to know I have done the right thing.” (Huck Finn, P. 272) Even though Huck is a teenager, he is willing to help a runaway slave that he hardly knows because Huck can see this injustice in his rural community and in the country at large. Mark Twain, the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, once said that “Just because you’re taught that something’s right and everyone believes it’s right, it don’t make it right.” People were given minds and the ability to form their own thoughts and opinions. During the mid -1800’s, it didn’t appear that many people were thinking through the decision to own slaves, given how prevalent slavery was in the South. Even though slavery was a way of life, people should have questioned how inequitable it was to enslave one race and force them to work without pay. How is it that a 15 year old was one of the only townsfolk to stand up to this unjust treatment of the blacks? In my opinion it’s because Huck had empathy. Huck recognized t... ... middle of paper ... ... when he says “We’ve got to have rules and obey them. Were not savages. Were English and the English are best at everything.” (Lord of the Flies p.42). Throughout the story Ralph is the only boy on the island who maintains integrity and loyalty and when the boys are finally rescued he is at peace with how he conducted himself. Modern literature contains many examples of characters who develop empathy, as well as, selflessness, honor and integrity. While they may not start out at leaders through difficult trials and adversity they identify causes to believe in, which helps them evolve into the leaders that they are remembered for today. This reminds each of us that adversity and difficult situations help mold our moral character and can shape us into leaders. Works Cited Lord of the Flies The Killer Angels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn To Kill a Mockingbird
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