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A Discussion Of The Seven Deadly Sins As Found In "The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn"

1708 words - 7 pages

The novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Samuel L. Clemens, whose pen name was Mark Twain, presents the evils of southern societies during the pre-Civil War period in America. Clemens, a well-respected author, "...began writing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1876 and, after several stops and starts, completed it in 1883" (19). This novel revolves around the theme of slavery versus freedom, and was published at a time when most southern landowners still "owned" slaves. Huck Finn is a novel that incorporates the struggles of a young boy, Huck Finn, with that of a cruel, careless world, on his travel down the Mississippi River in attempt at finding his own identity. In this essay, I will present textual evidence that proves that the Seven Deadly Sins are directly associated with the types of evil in the novel, making Huck's world one of violence, terror, and death. The Seven Deadly Sins will be discussed according to their significance throughout the novel, beginning with: 1.) Pride; 2.) Avarice and Sloth; 3.) Gluttony and Wrath; and 4.) Envy and Lust.Clemens' main character, Huck Finn, experiences a great deal of violence throughout the novel as a direct result of the most significant Deadly Sin, Pride. Huck's father, Pap, is a drunkard who continuously exemplifies the sin of Pride. Pap finds extreme Pride in the "white man" with the legality of slavery. An example of his Pride is seen when an inebriated Pap verbally attacks free blacks in the States. He states, "It was 'lection day, and I was just about to go and vote myself, if I war'nt too drunk to get there; but when they told me there was a State in this country where they'd let a nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I'll never vote again" (44). This statement relates Pap to the Deadly Sin of Pride because he is constantly comparing his life to that of the lives of others. Pap's vanity and Pride in this novel lead Huck to abandon his physically abusive father and start his life anew. The Grangerford episode is another relation to the sin of Pride. Huck experiences a fatal shootout between two feuding families: the Shepherdsons and the Grangerfords. Buck Grangerford, Huck's newfound friend on his adventure, is shot and killed because of his own father. Father Grangerford is so encircled with his own egotism and Pride, that he continues an age-old feud with their neighbors, the Shepherdsons. The disagreement between the families began almost thirty years before, and they no longer even knew for what it was that they were fighting. Buck states to Huck, "...but they don't know, now, what the row was about the first place" (104). This example proves that Father Grangerford is too proud to find peace with the Shepherdsons, and consequently, a shootout begins, resulting in his own family's deaths. Pride, the most Deadly Sin, accompanies more evils throughout the novel, leading Huck down a path in which he will view all Seven Deadly Sins.In addition to Pride, the Deadly Sins of...

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