The Moral Maturation of Huckelberry Finn A novel structured on the theme of morality, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain focuses on Huck Finnâ€™s multifaceted growing up process. Huck, through his escapades and misfortunes is obliged to endure the agonizing process from childhood to adulthood where he attains self-knowledge and discovers his own identity. Throughout the journey down the Mississippi River, Jim, Ms. Watsonâ€™s runaway slave, accompanies Huck, and is later joined by two con men. It is during this journey that a great moral crisis in Huckâ€™s life occurs where he must make a painful decision as to whether he is going to give Jim up to the slave hunters or notify Ms. Watson about Jimâ€™s whereabouts and assist him to remain a free man. This is the turning point in his character where through deep introspection, he learned to think and reason morally for himself. He comes to his own conclusions, unaffected by the accepted, and often hypocritical, perceptions of Southern culture. Huck also deciphers the truth in the face of lies held by the antagonistic society with its evil nature. From the very introduction of Huckleberry Finn in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huck was known for his mastery of playing tricks on those gullible to his antics. In this novel, he played two tricks on Jim, enough to never make him do such a thing again. The first time as a joke, Huck puts a dead rattlesnake near Jim's sleeping place, and its mate comes and bites Jim. He learned for his own sake never to do that because it could have been him bitten by the snake. However, the second prank Huck pulls on Jim unbeknownst to him does not seem to be as funny as he thought it would be when he pretended that the whole fog incident was a figment of Jimâ€™s imagination. Jim was hurt by Huck and calls him trash, the exact turning point of Huckâ€™s morality; he even had the decency to apologize, showing acceptance to a black man. As I quote from pages 83-84 "What do dey stan' for? I'se gwyne to tell you. When I got all wore out wid work, en wid de callin' for you, en went to sleep, my heart wuz mos' broke bekase you wuz los', en I didn' k'yer no' mo' what become er me en de raf'. En when I wake up en fine you back agin, all safe en soun', de tears come, en I could a got down on my knees en kiss yo' foot, I's so thankful. En all you wuz thinkin' 'bout wuz how you could ma... .... Although Jim is a slave, Huck has already learned to recognize Jim as a real human being with emotions and deep consideration for his family. Because of these conclusions, he will do anything to fight for his friendâ€™s rightful freedom. By the middle of the novel, anyone could believe that Huck Finn learned a great lesson of equality and made a complete 360 in becoming a new person. However, this is not so because from the time that Tom Sawyer, Huckâ€™s friend from St. Petersburg, returns to the picture, Huck goes back to his indecent ways and disregards Jim as what he once believed him to be, an equal. They both toy around with Jim as they plan his escape from the Phelps. In conclusion, his hard work to fight against the hypocritical ideals of society at the time came right back and sucked him into their beliefs, all to impress his friend. Once he comes back to living in their society, he would no longer feel like he would have a say in his way of life and ideals especially the fact that Aunt Sally was going to civilize him. This idea of being captivated and made to be civilized does not suit Huck, he plans to run away to the west to escape all that burdens him in this society.
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