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Huck's Enlightenment: Huck's Transformation From Having Racist Beliefs To An Honest And Moral Character Who Knows The Evil Behind Slavery

819 words - 3 pages

Throughout Mark Twain’s Adventures Huckleberry Finn, Huck challenges everything society has taught him about racism and eventually forms his own beliefs, based experience. When Huck and Jim first decide to runaway with one another, they form a friendship that is merely based on survival. At the beginning of their companionship, Huck does not recognize that Jim has feelings, so he plays a cruel trick with a snake; he also fails to make an apology. During their journey down the Mississippi River, Jim’s humanity bewilders Huck. When Huck tells Jim about King Solomon, whom Huck believes to be the wisest of men, Jim takes an interesting perspective and argues it relentlessly; Huck is surprised and claims that he has never seen a “nigger” do such a thing. As Huck and Jim overcome each obstacle in their journey, particularly when Huck learns to apologize to Jim, their friendship strengthens from one that is founded on survival to a relationship that is built on compassion. Huck then starts to question what society has taught him about race and begins to form his own beliefs.When Huck and Jim embark on their expedition society still has a strong influence on Huck’s beliefs, this is evident in the snake incident on Jackson Island. Before Jim and Huck leave Jackson Island, Huck decides to play a cruel joke on Jim. Huck hides a snake near Jim’s foot, hoping that when Jim wakes up it will scare him. However, Huck forgets that the snake will attract its mate, and sure enough, the mate returns and bites Jim’s ankle. Huck’s carelessness shows us that he does think of Jim as a human yet. Although Huck feels foolish for forgetting about the snake, he does not apologize to Jim. In fact, Huck vows never to let Jim know that he was responsible for the snakebite, “I warn’t going to let Jim find out it was all my fault, not if I could help it.” (p. 53) This incident shows that Huck does not care for Jim as if he were a human; Huck jeopardizes Jim’s safety and does not even apologize afterwards. Despite this incident, Huck and Jim’s friendship grows with time.After leaving the Walter Scott wreck, Huck and Jim continue down the Mississippi River. One afternoon, Huck tells Jim about King Solomon the wise, and a debate ensues. Although neither probably sees the significance of King Solomon’s story, Jim takes...

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