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Huck And The Question Of His Morality

1023 words - 5 pages

Throughout the book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the main character, Huck goes through major changes. The story is set before the Civil War in the South. Huck is a child with an abusive father who kidnaps him from, Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, the people he was living with. He eventually escapes from his father and finds Jim, Miss Watson’s runaway slave. As Huck travels with Jim, Huck begins to realize that Jim is more than a piece of property. During the travel down the river, Huck makes many decisions that reflect his belief that Jim deserves the same rights he has. Because of these realizations, Huck chooses to do the right thing in many instances. Some of these instances where Huck does the right thing instead of society’s version of the right thing include, Huck apologizing to Jim, not turning Jim in, and tearing up the letter he was going to send to Miss Watson.
One action that shows what Huck thinks of Jim is when Huck apologized to Jim for lying to him. The two were heading down the river and the fog rolled in. Huck got separated from Jim in the fog. Huck got in the canoe and tried to paddle to Jim who was in the raft. After a long time adrift, Huck finally finds Jim. Huck fools Jim into thinking the entire thing was a dream. Jim, despite society’s idea of slaves being “less” than white people, is pretty smart. Jim notices all the debris, dirt, and branches that were collected on the raft while it was adrift. He got mad at Huck for making him look like a fool and worrying him so much. In a famous quote from the book, “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards” (Twain 131). This quote demonstrates the beginning of Huck’s maturity. Although society views blacks as they would view cattle, Huck begins to realize in this instance, that Jim is a human being just like he is.
Another step on Huck’s path to developing his own morals is when he decided to not turn in Jim. Huck and Jim are looking for the city of Cairo, a town on the mouth of the Ohio River that runs into the free states. They see a town and decide Huck should go and see if this town is Cairo. Huck plans to give up Jim when they get to the city but Jim says, “Huck; you’s be de bes’ fren’ Jim’s ever had; en you’s de only fren’ ole Jim’s got now” (Twain 135). Huck struggles with whether or not he will turn Jim in. As Huck is paddling to the shore, he meets a few men who want to search his raft for escaped slaves. Huck concocts an elaborate lie and acts grateful to the men, saying no one else will help them. He convinces the men that his family on that raft has smallpox. The men, deathly...

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