Conformity In Huckleberry Finn

1634 Words 7 Pages
The Cost of Conformity
Throughout the centuries, society’s standards drastically change. Whether individuals in any time period decide to follow society’s constraints and moral codes, often their choices determined how others treat them. Although standards constantly evolve based on the problems society faces, some expectations like social class and treatment of others never change. People constantly have disputes over their differences in order to conform to their society’s standards. In his nineteenth century novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain demonstrates how society’s standards impact an individual’s actions towards others.
Critics of Mark Twain’s work generally agree his writing intends to expose the corruption and
…show more content…
During most of the United States’ history, racism had defined the social classes, but in the developing years of the United States, it became a trend that spread throughout the nation. At the time, few authors dared to admit their society’s standards allowed their people to become callous and cold over something like the color of an individual’s skin and their origin, and the few who disagreed with the state of society did not write about it, in fear of their reputation. Only a few authors chose to write novels which reflect the true nature of the south without toning down the less desirable aspects such as the crude lifestyle of the poor, and the cruelty of some people due to racism as critic David Smith; he explains that "The book takes special note of ways in which racism impinges upon the lives of Afro-Americans, even when they are legally 'free '" (363). At the time, whites thought freedom meant no longer enslaving blacks, but racism became a new kind of enslavement that disguised itself as harmless prodding to make sure blacks did not surpass the whites. Twain hopes to reveal the hypocrisy in society’s expectations to his readers through the means of characters such as Huckleberry Finn and Jim to contradict and satirize them. He also focuses on the parts of an individual’s appearance they can change. Not only does society expect individuals to have a certain colored skin, but they must also dress a certain way to receive the best treatment from people. As Huckleberry Finn and Jim travel, Huckleberry Finn dresses like a girl and society openly accepts him because he fits their ideal image. "I practiced around all day to get the hang of the things, and by and by I could do pretty well in them" (Twain 66). Huckleberry can become someone else in order to enter a society with a visible status before he even attempts to make an impression on the people

Related Documents