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Huck finn

Tracing the Moral Development of Huck Finn
Living in the 1800’s wasn’t an easy task. There were many hardships that a person had to endure. In the novel, The Adventures of Huck Finn, the author Mark Twain portrays the adventure of a young boy. Huck, the young boy, goes on a journey with various dilemmas. The novel starts off in Missouri on the Mississippi River. Huck is taken from his guardians by his father and then decides to runaway from him. On his journey, he meets up with his former slave, Jim. While Huck and Jim are traveling down the Mississippi River, they meet a variety of people. Throughout the novel he takes on many different tasks which help shape his moral conscience. Taking on a new friend which society shuns, being without material possessions, and taking responsibility for his actions help Huck refine and reform the morals that make him a more mature young man.

Huck develops morally from his companion on his journey, Jim, a runaway slave. At first, Huck doesn’t respect Jim because he’s his slave. “He slipped Jim’s hat off his head and hung it on a limb right over him” P.6. This shows how Huck likes to trick Jim and play games on him. Later the two meet up on an island and immediately befriend and join up together. “I didn’t do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn’t done that if I’d ‘a’ knew it would make him feel that way.” P.86. Huck says this after fooling Jim and telling him that a real event was just a dream of his. He realizes that he has played a harsh trick on Jim and vows never to do it again. Another time, Huck makes a crucial decision when he decides to go find Jim. “Then I’ll go to Hell.” P.215. Finally, after developing a good relationship, Huck realizes that Jim is a person and that society is wrong about him. “I knowed he was white inside” P.276.

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Huck values many materialistic items, and one of which is money. Huck begins with $6,000 in the bank, which he asks for the interest everyday, in order to buy things like fishing line or hooks. Once on the journey, Huck doesn’t have money but he comes to find that he doesn’t need it. “Sometimes we would drift on the raft without any clothes on, and just lie back and watch the sky.” P.143. This shows how he has discovered that he can live on his own with out material possessions and still be content.

Many risks have happened throughout the novel and Huck grows to make the right decisions. In the beginning, Huck is a child and is always looking for the easy way out by lying or cheating. “No ma’am, I wasn’t doin’ nuthin’.” P.233. At this situation, Huck is caught being mischievous and instead of telling the truth, he lies inorder to get out of trouble. Eventually, Huck grows up and sees that he should take responsibility for his actions. “…I told Tom I was going for a doctor.” P.276. Huck does the responsible thing, and by doing this, he may have saved his best friends life.
People change everyday in every way, it just takes a certain journey to realize what to change about ourselves. Huck has found his faults and his positive feelings and refined them to his liking and not to what society wants him to do. In conclusion, while traveling along one’s own “river of life”, there will be hardships, good times, and internal struggles, but if one allows it, moral development and maturity can occur, creating a unique character that could be emulated by all.


Huck Finn

Huck Finn This story started out sometime in the mid-1800s in the small town of Hannibal, Missouri. A few months earlier Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn discovered a chest full of gold. The two adventurous boys split the twelve-thousand dollars, and Judge Thatcher was keeping their money safe in a trust. In the meantime, Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, realizing Huck’s unsophisticated ways, took him into their home to try to sivilize him. Huck learned to read and write and even acquired some religion, but he didn’t like it too much that Miss Watson continually tried to vanquish his smoking and swearing. One day Huck saw footprints in the snow and realized that his father was back in town. This made Huck very uncomfortable because his father stayed drunk and beat him whenever he felt like it (which was most of the time).

Huck knew the only reason his Pap came back was to collect his son’s money. After finding out about his Pap, Huck went quickly over to Judge Thatcher’s house to sign away the right to his share of the twelve thousand dollars. Since he had no money now, he figured his father wouldn’t bother him. A few nights later, Huck found his Pap, looking very rough and ragged, sitting in a chair in his room. Pap was very angry with Huck for becoming smarter than his father and threatened to beat him if he didn’t quit learning. Pap took Huck’s only dollar and left, but showed up the next day at Judge Thatcher’s house claiming to be Huck’s legal guardian.

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Pap demanded the money that was in Huck’s name, but the judge refused. A while later, Pap became desperate and kidnapped his son. He took him to a one-room log hut where Huck was kept locked up whenever Pap had to leave. Huck didn’t like this too much, nor did he like the daily beatings he received when Pap was drunk. Despite this, Huck rather enjoyed not having to be civilized anymore.

One night after Pap threatened to kill Huck, the boy decided he had taken enough; he was going to escape. The next night while Pap was in town, Huck found a saw and cut out a piece of one of the walls. He crawled through the hole and replaced the piece of wood so that Pap wouldn’t notice it. Huck then smashed the cabin door with an ax, spread blood from a pig he had killed over the ground, and put some of his hair on the end of the blood-covered ax. He was hoping Pap would think he had been murdered.

Huck camped out on the uninhabited Jackson Island for a few days. Then one night he became scared when he saw a campfire that wasn’t his. He was relieved to find out that it belonged to Jim, Miss Watson’s slave. Jim, thinking that Huck was a ghost, was very frightened. Huck eventually calmed Jim down and told him the whole story of his faked death. Jim then explained to Huck that he had run away after hearing that Miss Watson was planning to sell him.

After their talk, the two runaways made camp together. One night after a bad storm, Jim and Huck saw a frame house floating down the river. Jim found a dead man inside, but warned Huck not to look at him. He said the sight was too awful. They searched for items they might could use later, and then they let the house float on down the river.

Nothing exciting had happened lately, so Huck decided to go into town dressed like a girl to see if he could gather some gossip. He learned that some people in Hannibal thought Huck’s Pap had killed him since he had disappeared just a few days earlier; others thought Jim did it since the two had vanished on the same day. Huck overheard a group of men talking about going to Jackson Island that night to see if they could find Jim. Huck immediately rushed back to Jim and said they had to leave right then. The two got their things together and headed down the Mississippi on a tent-covered raft. They planned to board a north-bound steamship so Jim could get money to buy his family’s freedom.

Although Jim was a good friend, Huck still felt guilty; Jim was Miss Watson’s property and had run away. Huck decided he would turn Jim in the next chance he got. When a group of men on a boat came up looking for runaways, Huck realized he could not turn Jim over to them. He told the men that the man in the tent was his father who was stricken with smallpox. The men paddled away in a hurry without checking the cargo.

They continued downstream, and one night they heard a steamboat coming close to them through the thick fog. Jim and Huck jumped from the raft to avoid being hurt when the raft was struck, and in the process the two were separated. Huck was taken in by the wealthy Grangerford family. They were a nice, generous family who treated Huck very well. For reasons no one could remember, they were in a feud with another family – the Shepardsons.

One day one of the Grangerford’s slaves asked Huck to come into the woods to see some snakes. Instead of snakes, he found Jim there waiting for him. That night after Huck and Jim had left, the two feuding families were involved in a fight and the entire Grangerford family was killed. Huck and Jim picked up two men a few days later as they were sailing down the river. One said he was the Duke of Bridgewater, and the other claimed to be the Dauphin of France.

Huck knew they were lying, but he wanted to have some fun, so he played along with them. The two men stopped every once in a while at towns along the shore to carry out money-grabbing schemes. At one town, the Dauphin pretended to be the deaf-and-dumb brother of Peter Wilkes who had just recently died. Wilkes’ daughters gave the Duke and Dauphin the three thousand dollar inheritance that their father had left for his brother. Mad at all the lying that the men were doing, Huck stole the money and hid it in Peter Wilkes’ coffin to later be found by his daughters.

The next day the real brother showed up and the Duke and Dauphin were put in jail. As Huck and Jim were getting ready to sail off on their raft, the two con-artists came running down the bank to catch another ride. The next day, after touring another town, Huck returned to the raft to find Jim missing. The two men had sold him to Silas Phelps. Huck knew he had to rescue Jim, and he went immediately to the Phelps Plantation.

Tom Sawyer’s Aunt lived there, and she mistook Huck for Tom. Huck played along and pretended to be Tom. Tom eventually showed up and Huck then pretended to be Tom’s cousin, Sid. The two boys devised a plan to free Jim. They dug a tunnel into Jim’s hut, and Huck left a letter for Mr. Phelps that said a gang of cutthroats had stolen Jim.

Heading back to the raft, they were chased by a gang of farmers with guns. Tom was shot in the leg, and the three were captured. Tom explained to everyone that Miss Watson had died two months earlier and had set Jim free in her will. Jim was immediately released, and Mr. Phelps gave him a suit and forty dollars.

Before Jim left he told Huck that the dead body they had seen in the house floating down the river was Huck’s Pap. This didn’t bother Huck since he didn’t care too much for his Pap anyway. When Aunt Sally offered to adopt Huck, he decided he had better disappear again, lest he be sivilized. I enjoyed reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I liked the way Huck didn’t conform to the rules of society. He liked Jim for the person he was.

He learned that being a different race doesn’t make a person inferior or unequal. I also liked the way Huck was so innocent, and the adventures were fun without having bad purposes behind them like so many other adventure stories. I think everyone would like to be as carefree and adventurous as Huck Finn every once in a while. English Essays.


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