Huck Finns Journey to Morality





Huckleberry Finn’s Journey to Morality
In Mark Twain’s novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn we see through the eyes of a brilliant child, the prejudice world he lives in, and the reality that is thrown at him in his journey down the Mississippi River. He learns to see the true society he is a part of by encountering many different characters. These characters will unknowingly turn this innocent and perceptive young boy into a moral-based and caring young man. Miss Watson tries to show Huck the good of Christianity, while the King and Duke prove to him that there are always some people left in the world who are inhumane. With both of these influences, Huck’s morals become as strong as they possibly can. He goes against society to save a man whom he never considered would be a friend for life.
Huck is unable to grasp Miss Watson’s religion. He does not care for the past and takes “…no stock in dead people”(Twain 4). Miss Watson tells Huck that if he prays for something, he will get it. Huck tests the theory and is let down. He says, “It warn’t so. I tried it. Once I got a fish-line, but no hooks. I tried for the hooks three times, but somehow I couldn’t make it work” (Twain 12). The hypocrisy is that Huck prays for the hooks, does not receive them, and wonders why. What he does not realize is that he cannot pretend to act like he understands the whole concept, and expect to receive the hooks. After Huck is taken by his father and escapes down the river, he gets hungry, and bread reaches him down the river. Huck thinks the bread is sent to him because of Miss Watsons’ prayers. He realizes he may not understand it all but says, “…there’s something in it when a body like the widow or the parson prays, but it don’t work for me, and I reckon it don’t work for only just the right kind”(Twain 37).
Continuing on his way with Jim, Huck comes upon two classic characters, the King and Duke. From the beginning, the two hypocrites never once are their true identities, and Huck is aware of this. Huck says, “Then he turns around, blubbering, and makes a lot idiotic signs to the Duke on his hands, and blamed if he didn’t drop a carpet bag and bust out a-crying. If they warn’t the beatenest lot, them two frauds, that I ever struck” (Twain 157). What Huck doesn’t realize are the great lengths the two will go to, to get what they want. The two frauds do their best to play the role of the Wilks’ brothers and try to corrupt Mary Jane and her sisters. Huck is morally against the King and Dukes’ plan. He realizes he has got to get the money and expose the two frauds because of his adoration for Mary Jane. Huck reaches a moral dilemma and decides to tell the truth for the first time in his life. He says “…I’m blest if it don’t look to me like the truth is better and actuly safer than a lie”(Twain 180).
As Huck continues on his journey, Jim has become a companion in Huck’s eyes. Jim is no longer just another slave, but a real person to Huck. After Jim is captured and taken away from Huck, Huck will face the greatest challenge he has ever faced. He has to go against society, or go with his morals and save Jim. Huck tries to tell God he will be a better person, but deep inside he knows he will not. He says, “I was letting on to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the greatest one of all” (Twain 205). This realization in Huck is so great and so morally mature that he understands he is unable pretend to be something he is not. Before he tears up the letter to Miss Watson, he says, “All right, then, I’ll go to hell” (Twain 206). It is obvious that Huck is the only moral character in the story. For a boy of such young age to sacrifice himself for another human being