Huck Finn Friend: Critical Essay

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Morality, a person's compass between right and wrong is shaped uniquely through the experiences a person has throughout life. A parental scolding, a strong sense of guilt, and wrongdoing did to a loved one are all potential instances of solidification of conscience and morality. Mark Twain in his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn writes about a young boy named Huck, escaping his abusive father with the help of a runaway slave named Jim. On their journey, they are faced with many trials and come across many questionable people doing bad deeds throughout the South. Seeing this causes Huck Finn’s moral development to show society that complacency, the idea of letting bad things happen and not doing something about it, is morally wrong, and acting against evil in the world can help create positive change.

At the beginning of the story. Huck shows his willingness to sit back and let other people perform bad actions. Then, Huck is faced with the suggestion by his friend Tom Sawyer to prank the slave Jim. Huck reflects, “Tom whispered to me and wanted to tie Jim to the tree for fun. But I said no; he might wake and make a disturbance, and they would find I wasn’t in” (Twain 18). Here, Huck shows his true colors. He doesn’t want to make a “disturbance,” knowing that playing the trick is wrong and will get him in trouble, but he allows Tom to go ahead with his ruse. While this first instance is non-harmful, Huck is faced again with a choice of letting bad acts happen or standing up against them like in chapter 19 with the Duke and the King. These two men are con men and swindlers, faking themselves as royalty to get special treatment from Jim. Huck slowly recognizes this little after their meet one another, but Twain states, “If I learned nothing else out of pap, I learned that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way” (Twain 125). This is showing that Huck was probably a result of his rough childhood with his abusive father.

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This brings me to my next point which is parental scolding, because Pap shows no such concern toward Huck. And the only thing Pap cares about is getting drunk every day till he can not remember anything from that day. Pap behaves in a very cruel way with Huck, such as he is always abusing Huck Verbally and physically. Huck states, “Pap he hadn't been seen for more than a year, and that was comfortable for me; I didn't want to see him no more. He used to always whale me when he was sober and could get his hands on me; though I used to take to the woods most of the time when he was around” (Twain 24). This quote shows that Huck’s Pap really didn’t care about him and seemed like he loved to put Huck in pain by abusing him verbally and physically, and Huck does not care that he does not see pap a lot because when he does he is either drunk and abusing him or sober and abusing him. After Huck had escaped from the cabin that Pap had locked him in Pap really didn’t care that he was gone because they didn’t look for him for too long Pap just wanted his money from Huck and Pap wanted to spend it on alcohol so he could get drunk again, Pap also does not want Huck to be more intelligent than him so he takes Huck out of school. Pap states, “Don't you give me none of your lip,' says he. 'You've put on considerably many frills since I have been away. I'll take you down a peg before I get done with you. You're educated, too, they say—can read and write. You think you're better'n your father, now, don't you, because he can't? I'LL take it out of you. Who told you you might meddle with such hifalutin foolishness, hey?—who told you you could?” (Twain 32).

The last point that Mark Twain shows in the story is the wrongdoing done to a loved one. Twain shows this in his story because Huck and Jim had created a bond that couldn’t be broken or lost throughout the story Huck wants Jim there to be there for company at first and wanted someone to talk to, but as the story went on Huck realized that Jim was more just a person to keep him company, he started to realize he was family and started to care about one another because when Jim was going to be hanged Huck tried everything he could to try to stop it, and then when Jim got locked up after being captured and turned in for the reward Hucks main goal was to get Jim out and escape. For example, Twain states, “Well, I wasn't long making him understand I wasn't dead. I was ever so glad to see Jim. I wasn't lonesome now. I told him I wasn't afraid of HIM telling the people where I was. I talked along, but he only set there and looked at me; never said nothing” (Twain 51). This shows that Huck cares about Jim because Huck is starting to get lonely and is very happy to see Jim because he already considers Jim a friend. Huck also states “Pooty soon I'll be a-shout'n' for joy, en I'll say, it's all on accounts o' Huck; I'm a free man, en I couldn't ever ben free ef it hadn' ben for Huck; Huck did it. Jim won't ever forget you, Huck; you's de bes' friend Jim's ever had; en you's de ONLY friend ole Jim's got now” (Twain 95). Huck has been the only person to actually keep a secret from Jim and to Jim that makes him believe that Huck really is his best friend and Loyalty and trust are one of the best things you could ask for in a friendship.

Overall, Huck is a prime example of a person being pushed to action by witnessing people doing bad things. Huck learned early that getting in the way of bad people or even helping bad people, like his father and the Duke and King could be harmful, but by witnessing the Duke and King con a family out of their inheritance he stands up and confronts them and their wrongdoings in his own way. Huck Finn goes from being a bystander to taking positive action even with thieves, murderers, racists, and drunks. While Huck may not always be remembered for doing the right thing in the way society would like for it to be done, he can not be faulted for trying to be a good person. This stands as a reminder that society might not always have the one true solution to everyone’s issues. Huck the boy who stood up for slaves, shows people that it's better to be a good person in your own mind than it is to always do what a good person is in society’s view.

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Huck Finn Friend: Critical Essay. (2023, August 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/huck-finn-friend-critical-essay/
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Huck Finn Friend: Critical Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Aug 17 [cited 2024 Apr 20]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/huck-finn-friend-critical-essay/
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