Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Term Paper

This essay has a total of 1257 words and 12 pages.

Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn


In Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry

Finn, Twain develops the plot into Huck and Jim's

adventures allowing him to weave in his criticism of society.

The two main characters, Huck and Jim, both run from

social injustice and both are distrustful of the civilization

around them. Huck is considered an uneducated backwards

boy, constantly under pressure to conform to the

"humanized" surroundings of society. Jim a slave, is not even

considered as a real person, but as property. As they run

from civilization and are on the river, they ponder the social

injustices forced upon them when they are on land. These

social injustices are even more evident when Huck and Jim

have to make landfall, and this provides Twain with the

chance to satirize the socially correct injustices that Huck

and Jim encounter on land. The satire that Twain uses to

expose the hypocrisy, racism, greed and injustice of society

develops along with the adventures that Huck and Jim have.

The ugly reflection of society we see should make us

question the world we live in, and only the journey down the

river provides us with that chance. Throughout the book we

see the hypocrisy of society. The first character we come

across with that trait is Miss Watson. Miss Watson

constantly corrects Huck for his unacceptable behavior, but

Huck doesn't understand why, "That is just the way with

some people. They get down on a thing when they don't

know nothing about it" (2). Later when Miss Watson tries to

teach Huck about Heaven, he decides against trying to go

there, "...she was going to live so as to go 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." (3) The

comments made by Huck clearly show Miss Watson as a

hypocrite, scolding Huck for wanting to smoke and then

using snuff herself and firmly believing that she would be in

heaven. When Huck encounters the Grangerfords and

Shepardsons, Huck describes Colonel Grangerford as, "...a

gentleman, you see. He was a gentleman all over; and so

was his family. He was well born, as the saying is, and that's

worth as much in a man as it is in a horse..." (104). You can

almost hear the sarcasm from Twain in Huck's description of

Colonel Grangerford. Later Huck is becoming aware of the

hypocrisy of the family and its feud with the Shepardsons

when Huck attends church. He is amazed that while the

minister preaches about brotherly love both the

Grangerfords and Shepardsons are carrying weapons.

Finally when the feud erupts into a gunfight, Huck sits in a

tree, disgusted by the waste and cruelty of the feud, "It made

me so sick I most fell out of the tree...I wished I hadn't ever

come ashore that night to see such things." Nowhere else is

Twain's voice heard more clearly than as a mob gathers at

the house of Colonel Sherburn to lynch him. Here we hear

the full force of Twain's thoughts on the hypocrisy an

cowardice of society, "The idea of you lynching anybody!

It's amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough

to lynch a man!...The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what

an army is- a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born

in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass,

and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the

head of it is beneath pitifulness" (146-147). Each of these

examples finds Huck again running to freedom of the river.

The river never cares how saintly you are, how rich you are,

or what society thinks you are. The river allows Huck the

one thing that Huck wants to be, and that is Huck. The river

is freedom than the land is oppression, and that oppression is

no more evident than it is to Jim. It is somewhat surprising

that Huck's traveling companion is Jim. As anti-society that

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