Huck And Jim In Huckleberry Finn's Moral Development

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The friendship between Huck and Jim plays a major role in Huck’s moral development. When the steamboat separates Jim and Huck, Huck’s loyalty and values are put to the test. Huck’s encounter with the Grangerfords, Sheperdsons, and the impersonating Duke and Dauphin, test his loyalty for Jim. Through his time away from Jim, Huck is involved with these people who challenge his views and feelings towards Jim. Instead of betraying Jim and giving him up, Huck constitutes his judgment and would rather “go to hell” (223) than turn his back on Jim. Huck’s actions towards Jim present a religious aspect when he refers to himself as going to hell rather than selling out Jim. This context of Huck’s moral judgment directly links to the stages of development referred to in Piaget’s stages.
Referring back to Kohlberg’s stage developments, through Huck’s experiences, moral
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As Levy describes, “freedom and bondage is psychological… impulses center Huck… shape his being… and elude his conformity towards society” (Levy, Society and Conscience in Huckleberry Finn). Huck is presented with many opportunities to rationalize his meager upbringing. Due to Huck’s lack of a role model, he considers himself to have been brought up only knowing to do wrong. But contrasting viewpoints within Huck are presented when he observes Jim living his life to the fullest even with his freedom and life in jeopardy. Knowing this dilemma, Huck chooses to ignore and refute any harmful thought against Jim and bases his judgment and feelings on the love and care he has for his dear friend. This choice that Huck makes demonstrates a level of morality in which he basis his beliefs on the love he has for Jim and the other people he has come across and helped. This stage in Huck’s moral development is described by Kohlberg to be the peak (stage 6) of Huck’s influx of his

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