The Moral Development of Huckleberry Finn Essays

The Moral Development of Huckleberry Finn Essays

Length: 991 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Huck Finn, a narcissistic and unreliable young boy, slowly morphs into a courteous figure of respect and selflessness. After Pap abducts the young and civilized Huck, Huck descends into his old habits of lies and half-truths. However, upon helping a runaway slave escape, Huck regains morality and a sense of purpose. Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck lies to characters, casting the authenticity of the story into doubt but illustrating Huck’s gradual rejection of lying for himself and a shift towards lying for others.
Huck rejects lying early in the novel, a testament to his successful training bestowed upon him by the Widow Douglass and other townspeople. Huck begins the story by lecturing the reader that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer contained lies about him, and that everyone has lied in his or her lives (11). Huck’s admittance of the lies contained in the previous book about him demonstrates his early dedication to truth in the novel. Later, Tom forces Huck to return to the Widow Douglass where he continues learning how to be “sivilized” (11). When Huck returns, the Widow Douglass teaches him the time when lying is appropriate, improving Huck’s sometimes unreliable moral directions. After Huck spends enough time with the Widow Douglass and her sister, Miss Watson, Huck begins enjoying the routine of his new life (26). Huck, a coarse character prior to the beginning of the novel, enjoys his education more and more, and displays promise for a cultured future. Prior to the arrival of Pap, Huck sells his money to Judge Thatcher avoiding telling his father a lie (27). Even though his father is an appalling man and an alcoholic, Huck respects him and avoids lying to him by selling Ju...


... middle of paper ...


...e to Miss Watson (224). Huck’s own morals replace the belief society gave him and convince him that turning in Jim would be wrong. As a result, he resolves that he will set Jim free again, and continues helping him.
While Huck’s constant lies while narrating the novel makes the authenticity of certain events doubtful, it serves a much greater purpose of allowing the reader to indirectly see the continued improvements and declines of Huck’s moral judgment. At some points, he serves only himself; at other key events in the story, he creates elaborate lies that help others. The moral development of Huck makes itself apparent in the changing lies of Huck, allowing readers to observe the events taking place within Huck’s mind with ease.

Work Cited

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Ed. Guy Cardell. New York: Penguin
Classics, 2002. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Moral Development in Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby Essay examples

- Moral Development in Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby      Moral Development, according to the Webster's dictionary means an improvement or progressive procedure taken to be a more ethical person, and to distinctly differentiate between right and wrong.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby, both pose as pieces of literature that vividly portray moral development through the narrator's point of view.    Mark Twain, the author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, wants the reader to see and focus on the search for freedom.  As on the other hand, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, author of Great Gatsby, wants you to see the American Dream, which is a...   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Strong Essays
1882 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on Analysis of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

- Huck Finn learns from the actions of people around him, what kind of a person he is going to be. He is both part of the society and an outlier of society, and as such he is given the opportunity to make his own decisions about what is right and what is wrong. There are two main groups of characters that help Huck on his journey to moral maturation. The first group consists of Widow Douglas, Miss Watson, and the judge. They portray society and strict adherence to rules laid out by authority. The second group consists of Pap, the King, and the Duke....   [tags: huck finn, mark twain, maturation]

Strong Essays
1724 words (4.9 pages)

Analysis Of The Book ' Huckleberry Finn ' Essay example

- Isabel Bauer Mr. Murafka English 11 Honors 11 May 2015 Drifting Apart Growing up is the inevitable fact of life that every individual has to face. It forces one to become mature, responsible, and self reliant. Best friends Huckleberry and Tom are both in junctures between childhood and adulthood facing society head on. Unfortunately, they hold different view points on moral issues, and their personalities differ so greatly that it is not plausible that their friendship would sustain in the long run....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer]

Strong Essays
1325 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

- ... After Jim is sold Huck begins to realize his love for Jim. He says this “I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: “All right then, I’ll go to hell”—and tore it up.” This is the most important quote in the book with Huck’s moral development. He finally realizes all the things he and Jim have done for each other. He decides that he loves Jim and he would do what is right for Jim even if it means he goes to hell because of it. Throughout the book Jim changes Huck Finn for the better....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Strong Essays
1250 words (3.6 pages)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

- ... Tom is highly privileged so his morality lines up with those of society. Typically, people are forced to follow social norms to keep or rise in socio-economic status. On the other hand, Huck is unprivileged, so he is quite separated from society’s morals and values. Therefore, Huck is free and has no obligation to follow society’s rules. He can create his own morals and values, naturally. Twain is criticizing American morality and sees Huck’s morality superior to that of American society. His point is that society 's values and morals are sometimes wrong and it can be right to oppose them with new ideas....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Strong Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

- ... I reckon he can stand a little thing like that, can’t he” (Twain 244). The passage then goes on to Huck deciding to steal the gold, hide it, and return the gold to the rightful owners: the daughters of Peter Wilks. The basic function of the passage in relationship with the plot is to show Huck and the development of his moral compass. This in turn helps him decide on what he has to do to protect the innocent orphans of Peter Wilks whom have been nothing but courteous to the three of them imposters....   [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]

Strong Essays
1327 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Identity in Huckleberry Finn

- The Development of Identity in Huckleberry Finn In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry , by Mark Twain, the main character enters into a transitional period of his life. This character, Huck Finn, faces many situations in which he is forced to deal with decisions that foster with in them the ability to bring about change. Since transition is the process of entering change, Huck is searching for an identity which is truly his own. In determining his self image, Huck deals with conformity and freedom, trying on different identities that do not belong to him, and enveloping and shaping these new found attributes into an identity which best suits his "deformed conscience."...   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Strong Essays
1895 words (5.4 pages)

Huckleberry Finn – Morality Essay

- Huckleberry Finn – Morality   Society establishes their own rules of morality, but would they be accepted in these days.   For example, throughout the novel "Huckleberry Finn ", Mark Twain depicts society as a structure that has become little more than a collection of degraded rules and precepts that defy logic. This faulty logic manifests itself early, when the new judge in town allows Pap to keep custody of Huck. "The law backs that Judge Thatcher up and helps him to keep me out o' my property." The judge privileges Pap's "rights" to his son over Huck's welfare....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Free Essays
699 words (2 pages)

Free Essays - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a renowned novel by Mark Twain, is the story of a young boy, who, in a desperate attempt to escape his abusive and poverty stricken home, escapes and seeks help with the Mississippi River, where he experiences many different trials. The novel was finally published in 1885, being written on spurts of inspiration interrupted by long periods during which it sat on the author’s desk. Now it is published in at least twenty-seven languages. Samuel Clemens, the name that lies under the pen name of Mark Twain, was born in Missouri in 1835....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Free Essays
578 words (1.7 pages)

Free Essays - Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

- Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Essays In the Style of Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is said to be " the source from which all great American literature has stemmed" (Smith 127). This is in part attributed to Mark Twain's ability to use humor and satire, as well as incorporating serious subject matter into his work. Throughout the novel Twain takes on the serious issue of Huck's moral dilemma. One such issue which is particularly important in the novel is pointed out by Smith: He swears and smokes, but he has a set of ethics all his own....   [tags: Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays]

Free Essays
797 words (2.3 pages)