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Cruelty In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

1049 words - 5 pages

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain illustrates prevalent themes of society in the early 1800’s, as well as in today’s society. Huckleberry Finn is the son of an abusive father and his mother is no longer alive. He decides he is going to leave “sivilization” and travel down the river. He encounters many people along the way, but the most important is Jim, a runaway slave from Huck’s hometown. Huck realizes early on that “human beings can be awful cruel to one another”(Twain174). Most of the people that Huck and Jim encounter on their journey down the river are inhumane to other people. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain opines that human beings treat their peers with cruelty through ...view middle of the document...

They go back and forth arguing over the matter by saying;
‘Why de fog. De fog dat’s ben aroun’ all night. En didn’t you whoop, en didn’t I whoop, tell we got mix’ up in de islands en one un us got los’ en ‘tother one was jis’ as good as los’, ‘kase he didn’ know whah he wuz? En didn’t I bust up agin a lot er dem islands en have a turrible time em mos’ git drownded? Now ain’ dat so, boss-ain’t it so? You answer me dat.’ ‘Well, this is too many for me, Jim. I hain’t seen no fog, nor no islands, nor no troubles, nor nothing. I been setting here talking with you all night till you went to sleep about ten minutes ago, and I reckon I done the same. You couldn’t a got drunk in that time, so of course you’ve been dreaming’(63).
Even though Jim was a free man, people still thought he was a runaway, including himself. He is captured because they believe he is a runaway, and they cruelly “chained him again…he warn’t to have nothing but bread and water”(273). People in prison today get better treatment than that. Jim is “terrorized in slavery by the vagaries of the white society over which he has no control-his ultimate terror is of being sold down the river-He is, in society, merely the grotesque darky who tells tall tales for psychic self-protection”(Martin332). Jim feels in danger all of the time because of the things that have happened to him.
Family feuds are a pointless example of cruelty that still exists today as well as in the novel. The families in these feuds, most of the time, are unsure of why they dislike each other in the first place. The Grangerfords and Shephersons portray this very well. They show a great hatred toward one another over something that happened years ago. Huck asks Buck if the trouble is about land in which Buck responds “I reckon maybe-I don’t...

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