What Is The Dynamic Nature Of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn shows how ethical morals often contrast with societal expectations. The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a young boy from Missouri named Huck and his adventures down the mighty Mississippi with his guardian’s slave, Jim. Huck’s bold personality helps develop his understanding of the world around him. Twain’s characters assist in portraying the hypocrisy of the Southern culture. The setting of the novel implicitly illustrates the dynamic nature of emotional morality; the confusion behind the personal meaning of right and wrong stems from historical expectations and norms. Twain’s plot of a boy with a sense of adventure restricted by civilization is essential to analyzing the stark contrast …show more content…
On their adventures, Huck and Jim faced storms, the risk of capture, and con men. The river is symbolic of the unpredictability of humanity. Humans can be kind, such as how Jim acts as a paternal figure for Huck, or humans can be vicious and turn on those who occupy the same space, such as how the men on the Walter Scott leave their victim to die a gruesome death while the ship sinks (72). In the way that Jim and Huck cannot control the conditions on the river, Huck cannot control the morality of the people around him. Huck’s only refuge is the raft, he claims that “there warn’t no home like a raft, after all” (119). The raft is away from people, or civilization, and Huck can engage in a raw emotional connection with Jim. The 19th century society setting aims to separate whites and blacks, yet Huck sees less correlation between race and friendship on the raft. Huck debates on turning Jim in as a runaway slave because he wants to achieve the societal expectation of goodness: to leave the system of slave and master in place and return the stolen property. However, Huck decides to listen to his conscience and not turn Jim in because “what’s the use you learning to do right when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?” (95) The raft allows Huck to adventure away from the influence of society. Because Huck finds that people are hypocritical and destroy man’s freedom, he wants to “light out for the Territory” (295) and escape from civilization altogether. Through the use of the setting and historical background of the 19th century, Twain is able to show how isolation from societal pressure can alter the human conscience; he uses the dynamic aspect of the setting to show the unpredictability of human

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