Hypocrisy And Intolerance In Huckleberry Finn

Decent Essays
Everyone is shaped by their upbringing. How someone is raised shapes how they view the world and how they feel about society. But what happens when someone is raised by hypocrisy and intolerance? This theme is explored in Mark Twain’s fictional novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain uses events, circumstances, and villains to model Huck’s internal battle between heart and conscience, and his external battle with society. The first step one must go through to cleanse his or her self from their upbringing is to get away from the detrimental environment. This decision can be very difficult as instinct and conscience will tell one to stay in the comfort zone. However, a sound heart will urge the decision to leave. Huck’s decision to …show more content…
This distraction can either be pointless or it can serve as a learning experience for the traveler. Huck’s distraction is the family feud between the Grangerford’s and the Shepherdson’s. The feud between the Grangerford’s and the Shepherdson’s symbolizes Huck’s internal battle between heart and conscience. “A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man’s brother kills him,” (Twain 109). Huck’s newly found friend, Buck explains a feud to him as simply two families not liking the other for some forgotten reason and it goes on until both sides are dead. This symbolizes what is currently going on with Huck as he is trying to cleanse himself from his upbringing. There is also some unintended advice from Buck as he says “it’s kind of slow, and it takes a long time,” (Twain 109). Huck is not a patient person as most twelve year olds are not. This unintentional advice helps Huck understand that his transformation will not happen overnight. The fact that the families are fighting for no reason parallels how Huck has been raised to think one way without Huck knowing why he thinks that way. “But they don’t know, now, what the row was about in the first place,” (Twain 109). If someone were to ask a family member what the feud was about they would give a similar answer as Buck such as “I don’t know” and “it was so long ago,” (Twain 109). In the same way, if one were to ask Huck why he thinks the way …show more content…
In society the villain may be family, friends, or maybe not even a person but something such as selfishness or anger. For Huck the villains are the duke and the dauphin. Huck realizes they are villains very early on, but he overlooks this. Huck overlooking his discovery shows his compassion for Jim as well as the con men. “It didn’t take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn’t no kings nor dukes, at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds,” (Twain 126). Huck almost automatically realizes that the con men are lying. He does not tell Jim that he is worshipping fakes because he cares for Jim and doesn’t want to make him feel stupid “it warn’t no use to tell Jim,” (Twain 126). He also feels sorry for the con men so he lets them have their way because that is the best to handle them “the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way,” (Twain 126). Huck is willing to turn the other way out of compassion, even though it was a bad decision. The duke and king go on a con rampage ruining the lives of many people. Huck goes along with these actions because he sees no other option, which shows his immaturity. “But I never said nothing, never let on; kept it to myself,” (Twain 128). Huck somehow allows the con men to continue with their terrible ways. One would think that after

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