Conflict Of Conscience In Mark Twain's "The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn"

1859 words - 7 pages

I would like to start my essay with the words of Laurence Sterne, a famous British novelist, "No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man's mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately puling in a contrary direction at the same time." I completely agree with his idea, which I alwaya founf in the story The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Mark Twain tells us about a young boy, Huckleberry Finn (Huck for short). Through the story of Huck we learn about the strong effects of the society's influences and racist ideas. The author always presents Huck as always "torn asunder" by decisions that society accepts, yet such decisions contradict his own views of morality. Huckleberry Finn, as a main character of the story, proves us that the previous influences and ideals (either good and/or bad) from a society never cease to disappear, even when one's conscience is morally correct and that good choices are made through experience (either accepted or controversial).1

One way Mark Twain presents the society is by connecting society with romanticism. By linking romanticism with the Walter Scott, Twain shows us the destruction, downfall, and sinking of both. As a result of their dreams and lack of reality, romanticists walk down the path leading to danger and possible professional death just as a person on the ship heads in the direction of physical death. While at the Sunday school picnic, Tom Sawyer tried to kill "600 camels" with "swords and guns." Huck realizes that Tom lives in a dream world, and his camels were really children and his weapons were really broomsticks. Twain is against romanticists or those who fight problems that aren't really problems. 2 Things will never get accomplished with romanticists. Tom Sawyer, the romanticists, does not care "how foolish (the rescue plan)" seems, as long as the two boys attempt the plan according to "the books". Tom put Jim, Huck, and himself in danger by attempting a fairy tale rescue, and Tom also knew and kept to himself the news that Jim had previously been set free by his master. Tom's romantic plan left him shot in the leg and Jim recaptured waiting to be hung. Romanticists can't be trusted, never get things accomplished, and according to Twain, destruction awaits a society of romanticism.

Through the Grangerford family, Twain criticizes hypocrisy. On Sunday, the men put "(the guns) between their knees" while listening to a sermon on "brotherly love." If the men truly believed in the sermon then they wouldn't need their guns to keep off their enemies because they would have no enemies. Thus, they would be practicing what they preach and believe. The Grangerford's living room includes "piled up perfectly exact" books, one titled Friendship's Offering. Twain uses this...

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