My lithogy Essay

This essay has a total of 910 words and 4 pages.

my lithogy



Shock Therapy for Americans: You are Huck and he is no Hero

In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, author Mark Twain comments
on the ills of postbellum Southern society through his development of the character
Huckleberry Finn and his relationship with Jim, a runaway slave. The two characters
both run from injustices and are distrustful of the society around them. Huck is an
uneducated backwoods boy on the run from his abusive father, constantly under pressure
to conform to the "civilized" surroundings of society. Jim is a slave and so is not
considered a person, but property. He is trying to escape to the North where he will
purchase his family’s freedom when Huck stumbles upon him on Jackson Island and
decides to help him. In doing so, Twain is setting the stage for Huck to be the hero of the
novel. He does this for specific reasons. One of which is he draws us into the story more
with each chapter so that the unexpected ending where Huck does not turn out to be the
hero makes us question why Twain would employ such an ending. The surprise ending
quells all support that Huck is the hero of the novel. It is obvious he is not and that the
story actually lacks a genuine hero. In relation to this, Huck could be seen as
representation of Southern society and its evolution throughout and beyond the era of
slavery. Twain does not end the novel in the predictable manner we would think he
would in order to show by example how such a story would really have ended during and
even after the slavery period.
Twain wants us to believe that Huck and Jim become friends purely because of
coincidence. This is evident the first time Huck and Jim meet and in the manner in
which Twain develops their relationship for the majority of the novel. Huck is always
struggling with his conscience over whether or not helping Jim is just. After much time
together, Huck begins to truly love Jim as a person and so cannot just turn him into the
proper authorities as if he was property. On the other hand, Huck cannot shed his racial
prejudices very easily. This conflict is manifest when Huck ponders whether or not he
should turn Jim in because he adamantly believes in his heart that it is the right thing to
do but he also cannot deny the kinship he has with the person. “I was letting on to give
up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all.” Huck decides
not to turn him in but does so only after coming to terms with the consequences: he
believes that he is going to go to hell. “[I] says to myself: ‘All right, then, I’ll go to
hell'-and tore [the note] up.” Because it is not Huck who gets Jim his freedom but his
deceased owner, Miss Watson, all of Huck’s previous efforts were futile, discounting
Huck’s heroic role.
Twain struggled to write an ending that brought together and summed up all of
the ideas of the novel. After failing to wrap up the book with the Shephardson and
Grangerford episode, Twain creates the Phelp’s plantation affair to finally finish the
story. In this final third of the novel, Huck’s role undergoes a metamorphosis that strips
him of his title of the hero and slides him back into his skeptical, independent mindset
that he possessed at the onset of the novel. Huck has no doubt that what he is doing for
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