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Weltanschauung Of Mark Twain In His Classic Novel "Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn"

1251 words - 5 pages

By examining the Weltanschauung of Mark Twain in his classic novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the reader can better understand his personal philosophy. Twain uses humor and sarcasm to make social comments and elucidate his beliefs of American society in the South. In his novel, Twain comments through Huckleberry Finn on humans being innately good or evil, the nature of God and organized religion, man's responsibility to his fellow man, and the effectiveness of social institutions.Looking at the actions and beliefs of people other than Huckleberry Finn, Twain presents his belief that man is innately evil. By promoting the evil and dehumanizing institution of slavery, southerners embrace a practice that promotes racial inequality and oppression. Widow Douglas, although she means well in adopting Huck, attempts to make Huck conform to her upper class ways by trying to "sivilize" him. In attempting to "sivilize" Huck, Widow Douglas makes Huck learn and go to school, adopt gentlemanly ways (although she forbids Huck to smoke, she takes snuff herself), like wearing "nice, stiff clothes" rather than Huck's comfortable rags, and shed his affinity for nature and the outdoors. Man has no right to force another man to conform to another's standards. Huck's father also represents man's innate evil. Huck's father does not want his son to grow up better than his father; therefore, Huck's father bullies Huck from going to school, makes multiple attempts to obtain control over Huck's monetary assets, and eventually abducts Huck from Widow Douglas's. Through the conniving and shrewd plots of the "duke" and the "king," they generate for themselves large amounts of money by leeching off the gullibility and stupidity of the average man. Their comical plots, which include Shakespearian plays, revival meetings, and the Peter Wilks scandal, once again demonstrate man's capacity for evil. Although the reader views Huck as a helpful character who has a healthy conscience, the reader cannot overlook the fact that evil may also reside within Huck. After Huck and Jim are separated on the river one foggy night, Huck eventually finds Jim just as morning arrives, and Huck decides to pull a prank on Jim by trying to fool him into thinking that the separation never occurs. The prank backfires and only hurts Jim's feelings. The prank not only illustrates man's endless capacity for evil but also the humanness of the Negro race and inhumanness of the whites. Twain, through the Grangerford-Shepherdson feud, comments on the obsoleteness of Southern traditions and the evil man perpetuates without knowing the origins of the evil. Twain finds cowards and mobs contemptible because of their thoughtless actions and band-wagon approach to solving a problem, such as the mob that wants to lynch Colonel Sherburn for shooting Boggs.Twain believes the God and organized religion do not have a place in society. Twain comments through Huck on the ridiculousness of religion by noting how Miss...

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