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Huckleberry Finn has the great advantage of being written in

autobiographical form. Every scene in the book is given, not described, and the

result is a vivid picture of Western life in the past. Before the novel begins, Huck

Finn has led a life of absolute freedom. His alcoholic father was often missing and

never paid much attention to him. Since Huck?s mother is dead he is not used to

following any rules. In the beginning, Huck is living with the Widow Douglas and her

sister, Miss Watson. Both women are fairly old and have no patience to raise a

rebellious boy like Huck Finn. They try to make an attempt to make Huck into what

they believe will be a better boy. Huck never really enjoys the life of manners,

religion, and education that the Widow and her sister impose upon him.

Huck decides to try and find freedom with his friend Tom Sawyer. A boy of

Huck?s age, Tom, promises Huck and other boys of the town a life of adventure.

Huck really wants to join Tom?s Gang because he feels that if he does join he will

escape the boring life he leads with the Widow Douglas. Tom Sawyer promises many

things, but unfortunately, such thing did not occur. Tom?s adventures turned out

imaginary. Huck is disappointed that the adventures Tom promises are not real, so

along with the other members, he resigned from the gang.

Another person who tries to get Huckleberry Finn to change is Huck?s father.

His father is very antisocial and wishes to do all of the civilizing effects that Widow

and Miss Watson have attempted to change in Huck. Pap is a mess: his hair is uncut

and hangs like vines in front of his face, he is unshaven, and his skin is very pale.

Pap?s looks reflects Huck?s feelings as he demands that Huck quits school, stops

reading, and avoids church. Huck managed to stay away from his father for a while,

but Pap kidnaps him three or four months after Huck starts to live with the Widow

and takes him to a lonely cabin deep in the Missouri woods. Once again, Huck enjoys

the freedom that he had in the beginning of the book. Huck soon realizes that he will

have to escape from the cabin if he wishes to remain alive. As a result, Huck makes it

appear as if he was killed in the cabin while Pap was away. He leaves to go to a

remote island in the Mississippi River, Jackson?s Island.

After, he leaves his father?s cabin Huck meets Miss Watson?s slave, Jim. Huck

found Jim on Jackson?s Island because the slave ran away because he overheard a

conversation that he will soon be sold to New Orleans. Huck begins to realize that

Jim has more talents and Intelligence than Huck. They begin to get to know

eachother as they float on a raft down the Mississippi River. Huck begins to enjoy

being with Jim and starts to care for him. In conclusion of chapter 11, Huck and

Jim are forced to leave Jackson?s Island because Huck discovers they are looking for

a runaway slave. They have a friendship that is unseperable as hey keep drifting

down the river as the novel continues. At the end of their journey, neither having

anything left to run from as Huck?s father was dead and Jim was a free man. IT

would seem, then that Huck and Jim had run at thousand miles down the river and

ended up where they had started from.

Mark Twain is saying a lot of things in the story. First, the book stands by

firmly saying slavery is bad mostly because it is hypocritical. It is well supported

considering Huck is able to interact with Jim as a human being, while the southern

slave society treats Jim as an object. Furthermore, the southerner representations are

pale in comparison to Huck?s wits and intelligence. For example, when the slave

catchers who are tricked into thinking Jim is Huck?s small pox riddled father, and the

whole feud thing does not show much in the line of smarts for southern slave owners.

On a superficial level Huckleberry Finn might appear to be racist. The first time you

read the description of Jim it is a very negative description. Although Huck is not a

racist child, he has been raised by extremely racist individuals who have ingrained

some feelings of bigotry into his mind. In chapter six, Hucks father fervently objects

to the governments granting of suffrage to an educated black professor. Twain wants

the reader to see the absurdity in this statement. Huck?s father believes that he is

superior to this black professor simply because of the color of his skin. When Huck

first meets Jim, he makes a enormous decision, not to turn Jim in. Many times

throughout the novel Huck comes very close to rationalizing Jim?s slavery. However,

he is never able to see a reason why this man who has become on of his only friends,

should be a slave. Through this struggle, Twain expresses his opinions of the

absurdity of slavery and the importance of following one?s personal conscience

before the laws of society. In my opinion, Mark Twain is using race as a single

element in his entire picture of the hypocrisy in his society. He isn?t showing that the

whole race issue as much as he is showing the society he lives in. He uses race to

demonstrate the hypocrisy of the rich and the middle class, among other things. What

other way does he show this then by demonstrating the facets of a society of snobby

landowners then by showing the vulgarity of their vocabulary. The dialects of the

people, white and black, what a study they are; and yet nobody talks for the sake of

exhibiting a dialect. For instance, when they say ?Niger.? If Mark Twain is saying

anything about race, he is making an allegorical statement complaining that the civil

war did not end slavery. Also, that living conditions are still undesirable for most

blacks. For example, when Jim was free for over two weeks, he suffered mostly when

he had his freedom. Huck has an struggle with is conscience in regard to slavery.

His conscience tells him to help the runaway to escape and to aid in stealing the

property of Miss Watson, who has never injured him. It is an enormous offense that

will definitely carry him to the bad place; but his feelings for Jim finally induces him

to violate his conscience and risk eternal punishment in helping Jim to escape. The

whole study of Huck?s moral nature is as serious as it is amusing. His confusion of

wrong as right and his abnormal mendacity, could be followed to his training from

birth, is a singular contribution to the investigation of human nature.

Mark Twains next statement about society is Religion. The hypocrisy of

religion comes when Miss Watson, because of her religion, treats blacks as objects

even though the bible says that people should be treated equally. He also puts a

scene in at the church, where the Shepard sons and Grangerfords have gathered to

hear a sermon about brotherly love. Well at the sermon both families have guns in

their hands and kill eachother after the service is through. Both the King and the

Duke showed a ridiculous degree of corruptness that it is difficult to believe that all

humans aren?t at least somewhat evil. Another point made by the author is when Col.

Sherbun shot the drunk Boggs and the townsfolk came after Sherbun to murder him.

After Sherbun, one man with only a shotgun, held off the immense mob and made

them disperse, it was obvious that no individual really had the courage to go through

the murder. The idea that people are basically savages, confined for the moment by

society, is shown in more than one instance, such as when the war between the

Shephardsons and the Grangerfords. The aspect of people being basically hypocrites

is seen at the beginning when Miss Watson displays a degree of hypocritically on

insisting that Huck follow the Widow and become civilized, while at the same time

deciding to sell Jim into a hard life down the river,. A final point seems to be that

Man is continually fleeing from something. Mark Twain put a main character who

rejects religion, yet Huck, for the most part, has the clearest view of society. Their

journey down the river sets the stage for most of Mark Twain?s comments about man

and society. It is when they stop off at various towns along the river that various

human character flaws always seem to come out. For example, the happenings that

occurred after the bringing on of the Duke and the King. These two con artists would

execute the most foolish of schemes to relieve unsuspecting townspeople of their cash.

The fact that, after being taken by a poor show they sent rave reviews of it to their

friends to avoid admitting they had been conned showed that people in groups are

afraid of losing position, and will do nearly anything to protect such.

?Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted;

persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a

plot in it will be shot.? That quote proves that there is neither a motive, moral, nor a

plot. You have to put the pieces to the puzzle by your own thoughts. The warning in

the book is that persons attempting to seek a moral in the story should be banished.

Mark Twain turns his knowledge of Western dialects to account. He knows that

children will not read a dull book. He never makes a dull one. In my opinion, I think

that he made the story to make people confused. He didn?t want anyone to know a

moral to the story. Maybe he even thought his book would sell more by writing that

quote. Authors have many ideas in their minds and they have many ways to confuse

you and make you curious. When it came to a point to figure out the moral, it made

you more confused than anything. There were so many things. For example,

religion, racism, abuse, and many other things. There is very little of literary art in

the story.

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