The Meanings of Huckleberry Finn

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The Meanings of Huckleberry Finn
“The finest clothing made is a person's own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.” – Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a bildungsroman that conveys to the reader a deeper insight to human nature and behavior. The novel picks up after The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and we are reunited the protagonist Huck Finn. Throughout the course of the novel we watch Huck mature through his experiences as opposed to a “formal education”. The places and people that Huck encounters along his journey down the river were all able to teach him something new, or give him a new insight about life, and the different effects that different values have on people. Through his responses, the responses of the people he meets and the way Mark Twain writes, we understand the messages within the text as to why they make The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn one of America’s greatest novels.
Huck is a boy who comes from the lowest levels of white society. His father, known in the novel as Pap, is a dilapidated drunk who disappears for months at a time. Without parental guidance, Huck lacks a home and is not aware of society’s expectations upon him. Although the Widow Douglas attempts to change Huck, her attempts are in vain and he continues his merry way. The community has failed to protect him from his father, and though the Widow provides Huck some of the schooling and religious training that he had missed, he does not mkae social values in the same way a middle-class boy like Tom Sawyer has been. Huck’s distance from mainstream society makes him skeptical of the world around him and he questions the ideals passed on to him.
In the beginning of the novel, we meet Jim. Jim...

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