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‘All Right, Then, I’ll Go To Hell’

1099 words - 5 pages

Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is set during Antebellum America, the pre-Civil War era approximately around the early 1800s, on the Mississippi River. The starting town on Huck’s adventure, St. Petersburg, Missouri, was heavily influenced with racial beliefs. Here, young, naive Huck is raised in a racially biased family who believe those of color are not humans but merely property. Soon, Huckleberry flees from his father on a raft in the river and meets up with a runaway “nigger” named Jim. As the story line progresses, Huck begins a moral and ethical maturation with viewpoints that differ from this father’s, and that of society’s, due to a new relationship he ...view middle of the document...

Huck’s racist opinion will begin to change whist traveling down the river when he realizes that blacks are just like whites.
Soon, Huck’s opinion on freeing Jim and accepting him as a human or turning him in as a runaway slave begins to sway. Huck begins to have internal conflicts about Jim. When Jim and Huck were floating down the Mississippi river, Jim became excited as he thought he was near a free state and exclaims; “‘Pooty soon I’ll be a-shout’n for joy, en I’ll say, its all on accounts o’ Huck; I’s a free man, en I coundnt ever ben free ef it hadn’ ben for Huck; Huck done it. Jim won’t ever forgit you, Huck; you’s de bes’ fren’ Jim’s ever hand; en you’s de only fren’ ole Jim’s got now’” (Twain 67). This instantly makes Huck feel guilty for two reasons, he is freeing a runaway slave and he thought about turning his new friend Jim in to men on the river looking for runaway slaves. When Huck and Jim are separated on the river and Huck eventually finds his way back to the raft. He plays a prank on Jim that makes him think nothing ever happened and it was just a dream. This disappointments and infuriates Jim as he does not like being pranked or lied to, therefore, Huck summons enough courage to apologies for his wrongdoings and does not regret his apology. Henry N. Smith states “… Huck’s humble apology is striking evidence of growth in moral insight.” (Smith) This growth leads to Huck’s eventual moral and ethical maturation in the novel.
Huck takes two journeys whilst traveling down the Mississippi river; one, a literal voyage down a river, and two, a journey of maturation due to the time spent and relationship formed with Jim. Soon, Huck’s guilt of being the accomplice to freeing a slave catches up to him. He decides to write a letter to Miss Watson stating he had found her runaway “nigger”. Huck contemplates whether he should sent it or set Jim free; “I was a trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed...

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