The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn: The Growth And Development Of The Main Character

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Throughout “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” the main character Huck goes through a tremendous amount of challenges that cause him to grow in many aspects. These challenges affect the main character, Huck, by making him choose between right and wrong. In the novel Huck is torn by his moral influences. In the book, Huck’s ‘good side’ which makes him think positive and think about his actions before doing it, is embodied by the widow of the story. On the other hand, Huck’s ‘bad side’ the more negative, rebellious and ethical way of thinking is embodied by his father, Pap. This novel portrays many themes and many different points of view that allow the reader to connect with the main character in many ways. The main antagonist of the story is Hucks father; his father is a drunk and an abusive man, the author describes him to be the typical white American of this time. The reader can also say that the law is another antagonist of the story because Hucks breaking it in order to help Jim escape captivity and return him to his family. In this novel the main character goes through a dramatic experience that changes his way of thinking. From beginning to end Huck goes through many challenges that affect him to improve.

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” takes place in St Petersburg, Missouri, before the Civil War. The two main characters are Huck and Jim. Huck is a boy, who lives in the lowest level of white society; he is a dirty and frequently homeless boy. He is very rebellious and an independent character. In the first chapter, we see a lot of how Huck behaves and thinks. We know that he is adventurous, rebellious and outspoken. We also learn that he is a boy that doesn’t really care too much about religion. He is not really a polite and well-educated kid. He grew up in a very poor and unhealthy environment, which makes living with the Widow Douglas very uncomfortable. Although Huck is white, he is poor and therefore out of touch with civilized society. In some way I believe that Huck feels alone and that he doesn’t really have anyone that he can trust and confide in without being judged. Huck is uneducated and has a humorous way of speaking and thinking; he is also a thoughtful young man who is willing and eager to question that facts of life. Though Huck always remains open to learning, he never accepts new ideas without thinking, and he remains untainted by the rules and assumptions of the white society in which he finds himself.

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There are also many other characters in the story that play a big role. For example, the widow douglas and miss Watson are two wealthy sisters that live in a big house and they adopt Huck after his father abandoned him. he Widow Douglas tried her best to make Huck a well-mannered boy. It didn’t take long until Huck grew tired of living in that type of environment. The sisters tried very hard to teach Huck about God, but Huck was very uninterested and is very confused on why he needed to know of him.

“Then she told me all about the bad place, and I said I wished I was there. She got mad then, but I didn’t mean no harm. All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change, I warn’t particular. She said it was wicked to say what I said; said she wouldn’t say it for the whole world; she was going to live so as to go to the good place. Well, I couldn’t see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn’t try for it. But I never said so, because it would only make trouble, and wouldn’t do no good”(Chapter 1). In the beginning of the novel Huck doesn’t really care too much about religion. He also doesn’t feel bothered of the thought of him going to hell.

Later in the book Hucks father kidnaps him and locks him in a cabin because Huck doesn’t want to give him his money that he has in the bank. While he was with his father, his father abused him and didn’t take good care of Huck. So, Huck faked his death and ran away using a raft that he found and paddled his way to a nearby river island where he encountered Jim. Jim was an African American slave that was in search of freedom from his owners. At this point in the Novel Huck believed that the right thing to do was to turn Jim in. however he doesn’t because he is torn between his morals. Further in the novel Huck says “Git up and hump yourself, Jim! There ain’t a minute to lose. They’re after us!” (Chapter 11). This is when Huck decides to team up with Jim. Throughout the story Huck struggles to treat Jim like a comrade and friend.

Huck pulls pranks on Jim and later learns that you cannot trick people you care about. Huck feels sorry and ashamed of the way he treats Jim and works his way up to apologize to him. “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn’t do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn’t done that one if I’d a knowed it would make him feel that way” (chapter 15). This is a very important part of the story because this is when Huck recognizes Jim as a person and not property. The social order has taught Huck to dehumanize Jim. To treat him as property rather than a person. Jim’s humanity forces Huck to content with him as a person.

The recognition of Jim’s humanity leads Huck when he breaks all morality and religion that he knows when he learns that Jim’s plan to gain his freedom and the freedom of his wife and children. Huck writes a letter to inform his mistress but then he tears it up. “I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. 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. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming. I shoved the whole thing out of my head, and said I would take up wickedness again, which was in my line, being brung up to it, and the other warn’t. And for a starter I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again” (chapter 31). This was a very significant moment in the novel because this is where the reader sees that Huck is confused between social law and divine law and he believes that helping a slave is a terrible sin that will lead to damnation. He has been with the widow long enough that he knows that hell is a real place for him. Huck ultimately decides that he will risk damnation if it means that he can help Jim escape captivity. This also shows how Huck rejects what he has been told about civilization while also rejecting his father’s version of uncivilization.

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The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn: The Growth And Development Of The Main Character. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
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