Twain´s Huckleberry Finn: Civilization versus Natural World

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Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn compares and contrasts the benefits and consequences of living in civilization versus living in the natural world, in the absence of a structured society (Gaither par.9). Twain portrays his preference for the natural world through its beneficial effects on the main character, Huckleberry Finn. Twain uses his story Huckleberry Finn to portray the simplicity of a life led without the constraining rules, regulations, and customs of modern society. He does this by allowing Huck’s life to face less difficulty, and gain moral and practical understanding when he is free from the strains of society and its backward ideals. Twain allows the natural world to foster Huck’s moral and ethical development by allowing him to learn his own code of ethics and ideals by his own experience and not by the influence of others.
Twain satirically emphasizes the flaws of society and its unrealistic expectations in various manners (Gaither Par.9). One of the ways Twain accomplishes this is through the superficial expectations to be learned in the oppressive presence of Miss Watson. Huck finds Miss Watson to be oppressive and harsh at times. She expects a lot out of Huck, including understanding. An example of this is prayer. Miss Watson expects Huck to understand the meaning and purpose of prayer when she never adequately explains it to Huck, or allows him to learn about it without treating him as though he is unintelligent, when he fails to understand. When Huck prays for a fishing rod, he finds that he never receives one. He was under the impression that if he prayed he could expect to have anything that he desired because Miss Watson impressed upon him if he prayed he would get what he asked for “She told me to pray ever...

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...dividual, he makes it clear that it takes too much away from an individual and it adds unnecessary stress. Twain also uses this chance to emphasize the simplicity of a life without society, he depicts the ease and development possible development that can occur when individuals are absent from the presence of a society and its ideals. Twain primarily does this through the relationship between Huck and Jim because their time in nature and on the raft shows that many of the flawed ideals held by society can be overcome when they get away from the associated prejudices.

Works Cited

Gaither, J. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013. Morrison, Toni. Introduction. Rep. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2011. Print.

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