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Huckleberry Finn Essay, Research Paper

The Life and Childhood of Huckleberry Finn

In the book Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck does not have a childhood because he is forced to grow up without any moral guidance and forced to fend for himself in the world. In this essay I will cover Huck s growth from the start of the book, Huck s life on the river, and the ending of the book when he meets back with Tom Sawyer and realizes that he has outgrown his childhood buddy and is ready to move on.

At the beginning of the book Huckleberry Finn, Huck lives with Ms. Watson and the Widow Douglas in a house up north off of the mighty Mississippi river; The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me (Mark Twain 11). With this approach to raising Huck, the Widow Douglas and Ms. Watson enroll Huck in school, where he learns to read and write, and starts wearing appropriate clothing. Even though it seems that Huck lives a dull life with Ms. Watson and the Widow Douglas he is able to have adventures and a little excitement with his good friend Tom Sawyer. Now, we ll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer s Gang (17). Just to name an adventure where Huck, Tom, and some other friends pretend to be robbers and go and capture Arabs and Spainards. Towards the end of the first couple of chapters, one gets the sense that Huck needs to grow fast after Pap shows up. Pap, Huck s drunken and broke father, reunites with Huck in chapter five and comes to town demanding money, That s why I come. You git me that money tomorrow-I want it (29). A comment made by Pap before Huck tells him that he gave the money to Judge Thatcher. Later, Pap is given custody to Huck and Huck is forced to move back with his father. After a couple weeks living with Pap and tired of the constant beatings and emotional abuse from his father Huck decides to leave. I wasn t ever going to get out any more. I was scared. I made up my mind would fix up some way to leave (33). A statement made by Huck on his feelings about living with his father. With that in mind Huck makes plans to leave his father by faking his death. First by setting the scene of the crime with some pigs blood and an ax, making the scene look like a murder. Next, with his new found freedom Huck starts down the river.

The mighty Mississippi is a difficult place to live ones life, but forced to fend for himself without any parental guidance Huck does a worthy job. In the following chapters after Huck s escape from Pap, Huck meets up with Ms. Watson s slave Jim, who ran away due to the fact he thought he was going to be sold to another slave owner and broken up from his family. Now with Jim onboard for the adventure, Huck has some supervision, but now is force to make a crucial decision, whether or not to help his friend reach freedom. The choice of Huck was an easy one, to help Jim get to Cairo and reach freedom. I think this part of the book really tells a lot about the type of person Huck is and his growth since the beginning of the book. Huck is able to sacrifice his own journey and adventure to help his friend reach freedom. This asset, the willingness to sacrifice for others, is a characteristic that few 13-year-old boys have. Another part of the book where I think Huck displays significant maturity is towards the end of the book where Huck says to Mary Jane, I got to tell you the truth, and you want to brace up . . . because it s a bad kind, and going to be hard to take, but there ain t no help for it (185). For such a young boy Huck shows that he is strong and can stand up for what he believes is right; Huck displays his ability to be tell the truth and be straight forward to a person, which is a skill that many adolescence s lack today. The best example that shows the growth of Huck and really gives on a sense that Huck is no longer an immature little boy, butRamirez Page 3 05/09/01 a mature young man is when Huck is attempting to write the letter to Ms. Watson and says, I ll go to the hell then (234). Huck is showing that he can be trusted, especially by Jim who is in need of a friend because if Ms. Watson finds out were Jim is, he would be sold and put back into slavery. This is the part of the book were one really sees that Huck has grown and is able to act like a mature young man and not an immature child.

Towards the end of the book one gets the feeling that Huck is a very self-motivated person and really able to take care of himself without any real adult supervision. Now, instead of spending countless hours planning and doing adventures Huck wants to get them done quick and move on the next adventure or challenge. This is evident when Huck reunites with Tom Sawyer to try to free Jim from prison. Tom makes this elaborate plan that involves digging under the ground to reach the shed where Jim is contained. Huck Finn, did you ever hear of a prisoner having picks and shovels What do we want to use A couple of case knives (237). This is the plan of Tom Sawyer; Huck believes this plan too complex and says, Confound it, it s foolish, Tom. I believe that this shows a great step in Huck s growth because at this point Huck is at stage where he really does not pretend and is not too huge on imagination especially in this circumstance. His growth is really evident at the end of the book.

The book Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain shows that Huck did not have a childhood. Whether Huck is living with Ms. Watson, Widow Douglas, Pap, or by himself he is forced to grow up quick. In the end Huck becomes a model citizen and altogether has become sivilized (11)

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