Comparing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A&P

Comparing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A&P

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Huck Finn and A+P


In the novel Huckleberry Finn, Huck goes through many adventures on the Mississippi River. He escapes from Pap and sails down a ways with an escaped slave named Jim. Huck goes through a moral conflict of how wrong it is to be helping Jim escape to freedom. Eventually Huck decides he will go against what society thinks and help Jim by stealing him from a farmer with the help of Tom Sawyer, a friend. In A+P the young man, Sammy, is confronted with an issue when he sees his manager expel some girls from the store he worked in simply because of their defiance to its dress code. In his rebellion against the owner, the boy decides to quit his job and make a scene to defend the rights he feels are being violated. In these stories, both the boys are considered superior to the authority that they are defying because of the courage that it took for Huck to free Jim, and for Sammy to quit his job for the girls because it was what they believed in.


Why would anyone in his or her right mind even think about freeing a slave? Everyone in the society was telling Huck that slaves were no more than ones property, but Huck began to question this belief when he got to know the property for who it really was. During the story there are many times when Huck feels an obligation to turn Jim in to the authorities and just get on with his life, but his conscience kept telling him that this man is a real person. Near the end of the story, Jim was stuck in a holding cell, since he had run away. After much consideration of the situation, Huck decides that he wants to free Jim because he believes that he shouldn't be treated that way. Even though the entire town believes that Jim should be contained and treated like property, Huck still sticks to his morals and goes along with the plan that could get him in trouble or even killed. At the end of the story we find out that Jim had always been free, and we now find Huck's actions to be heroic and noble.

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Although not during the same time period or containing the same plot line, A+P is very similar to Huckleberry Finn in that it deals with the concept of defying authority.


What is defending what one believes in really worth? When Sammy, a teenaged stock boy in a convenience store sees three beautiful young ladies being kicked out by his superior, simply because they were scantily clad in summer wear he is very offended. Even though most people including the owner would have advised against the outburst for such a minor offense, and his parents would probably have murdered him (figuratively of course), Sammy believed that it deserved attention, so he went on a tirade and quit his less than adequate job. Though he was thought of as insane for his actions, he was very dignified for standing up for what he believed in.


Throughout both of the stories that we read, the concept of going against the mold comes up a lot, and the more you read, the more you feel for these people, even though at the time not very intelligent, both Huck freeing Jim, and Sammy quitting his job for the rights of the three girls was very courageous because they were standing up for what they believed in and that is one of the most important lessons to learn in life.

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