Theme Of Hypocrisy In Huck Finn

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Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain utilizes the motif of hypocrisy in a “civilized,” society to lead readers to the conclusion that civilization, while a necessary element for the success of humanity, can easily become morally corrupt. From the beginning, Twain makes it clear to his reader that Huck’s morals are much more advanced than those of the average young, white boy during the time period. He is not financially or educationally privileged, having grown up with Pap as his abusive, neglectful father. Generally speaking, Huck is not racist, which is extremely uncommon in that time period, given the legality of slavery. Given his upbringing, it would have been tremendously easy for Huck to have fallen into the same mindset as Pap, believing that slaves …show more content…
For example, he notices Aunt Polly’s hypocrisy in her opinion of Jim. Shortly after Tom returns home, healing from his gunshot wound sustained in his attempt to free Jim, he asks about Jim’s whereabouts and conditions. Aunt Polly’s response of, “Him? The runaway n-----? ’Deed he hasn’t. They’ve got him back, safe and sound, and he’s in that cabin again, on bread and water, and loaded down with chains, till he’s claimed or sold!” (289), is quite unappreciative, considering all that he has done for Tom. Despite Tom having purposefully put his life in danger, Jim forgives Tom and sacrificed his chance for freedom to aid the doctor in healing Tom. Huck is present throughout their conversation, but he does not narrate on it, as Twain leaves analysis and commentary on the conversation to the readers. The conversation makes it evident that Tom has not changed. He even tells Aunt Polly that he wanted, “…the adventure of it,” (290) when asked why he took part in freeing Jim. Tom, having lived through a near-death experience still does not view Jim as a person, but as a tool to find adventure. Between Tom and Aunt Polly, neither is truly appreciative of the Jim, despite him having saved Tom’s

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