Moral And Legal Dilemmas In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

805 words - 3 pages

In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, the author uses a character, Huckleberry Finn to help show the predicament that he lies in when he tries to aid a runaway slave. At this time in history it was against the law to help runaway’s and if you were caught of this, you could be imprisoned. In this story Huck tires to help a runaway slave, Jim escape to the northern Free states. Huck is young and innocent and doesn’t realize the risks behind what he is doing, but does the thing that is morally correct. Today this situation could be compared to that of a doctor who has to make an abortion. He has to think, should I take this life of an unborn child? What are some of the consequences that I may have to face? Huckleberry Finn has to make a tough decision, and in the end he realizes that what he had done was the right choice.
One example of this is towards the beginning of the novel when he encounters Jim on Jackson’s Island. Huck has just faked his murder and Jim is the one that is accused of it. Ironically the two meet each other on this island. Huck decides not to turn him in and that the two work together as a team to survive. When they start to run short on supplies Huck suggests that he dress as a girl and head to the main town to get some food. He arrives at a house where he believes a new woman has just moved in. She invites him in and while he is in, takes some food from her. He finds out from the woman that her husband is looking for Jim, and that there is a reward. His alibi is almost given up when he nearly kills a rat in the house showing his strength and she becomes suspicious of him being a boy. She asks him to tell her if he knows where the slave is, “You just tell me your secret, and trust me. I’ll keep it, and, what’s more, I’ll help you” (Twain, 60). He could have turned Jim in there and gotten the reward, but he makes up a story so that the lady allows him to leave and once he arrives back on Jackson’s island, they pack-up all their belongings and head off the island.
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