The Consequences Of Morality In Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

1639 Words 7 Pages
As Huck travels down the supposed linear path of the river, however, he repeatedly diverges from his own expected moral path, calling into question its linear structure. Huck appears to take steps forward by caring for Jim when no one else will: he promises not to “tell” on Jim when they find each other at Jackson’s Island (43). Yet only hours after their union, Huck engages Jim in a ‘minstrel moment,’ or a conversation where Jim is made to look foolish and simpleminded for the reader’s entertainment. This first minstrel moment includes a play on words that the reader is supposed to laugh at, but at Jim’s expense: when Jim tells Huck he had speculated in stock earlier in his life, we laugh at his ignorance when he specifies that he bought “live stock”—one cow (46). In this way, Twain makes Huck take a step back by dehumanizing Jim for the sake of comedy. Huck also plays tricks on Jim for no other reason but that he can, and he …show more content…
My first thought is not worth printing here, as it was mostly filled with angry curses and lamentations concerning the unfortunate effects of sudden dementia in authors. However, my second thought was this: maybe Twain was scared. He may have realized that his book was too powerful for the people of his time to handle, so he had to tone down the ending to pacify critics. Although he wrote Huckleberry Finn twenty years after the Civil War, many people (especially Southerners) still believed that black people were inferior to white people. Perhaps that is why his disclaimer was so blunt: who knows what angry mobs or harsh book critics might do to a “low down Abolitionist” author who thinks African Americans are real people (43)? Although he was quite safe from Southerners from his location in New Hampshire, he still was careful not to sound too radical, and thus he uses his disclaimer and disappointing ending as bookends of insurance on either side of a truly powerful

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