Essay on Huck Finn
1. All through the novel Huck’s morals on slavery and other topics change while on his thrilling adventures. In chapter fifteen Huck tricks Jim into thinking they had not been recently separated in the fog and that Huck had been with Jim the whole time, Jim already upset, for he had thought Huck had gotten lost, was furious and for Huck “it was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a N.”(Twain 87). This proves that, although it took Huck a second to apologize for being deceitful, he did and that proves that Huck’s perspective of Jim was changing. Huck begged for forgiveness from Jim, a white man admitting wrong to a black man.
As Jim and Huck floated towards the free state of Cairo, Huck is struck by the realization of the enormity of what he was doing, helping an owned slave to freedom. Huck feels deeply guilty and resolves to turn Jim in but then Jim says that Huck is the best friend he has ever had and would never forget him when he is free during that Huck “… was paddling off…to tell on him but when he says this it seemed to take all the tuck out of me” (90). After those proclamations Huck stops and ponders on his decision and before he can make his next move he and Jim were almost caught by two men on a raft, barely escaped death by steam boat blades and narrowly eluded the sharp fangs of belligerent hound dogs and the piercing bullets of hostile men. So basically Huck forgets or decides not to rat Jim out, either because he was too busy being “George Jackson” or possibly because he forgets all about Jim. Lastly in chapter thirty-one Jim is caught by an old man and is going to be sold back into slavery; Huck is distraught and is steeped in his thoughts of his guilt and God’s wrath. Huck finds comfort by writing a letter to Miss.
Watson about where Jim was but then an epiphany hit Huck, Jim was a good friend to Huck and even though he is black he will not sell his friend out, he seals this vow buy saying “alright then, I’ll go to hell.”(215). This one act solidly states that Huck believes slavery is wrong and Jim is more than an object but a person who is undoubtly his friend and thus proving his morals have changed. 7. In the chapters sixteen and seventeen it starts off as Jim and Huck being separated by a steam boat that demolished their raft, Huck comes upon a house and is immediately surrounded by dogs and threatened to be shot by an unknown man with a gun.
The stranger asks Huck who he was and Huck replies he is “George Jackson, sir” (96). The man is satisfied Huck is not a threat and Huck avoids his encounter with death. Another example of Huck’s slickness is in chapter five where Huck and Jim are floating along the Mississippi river and Huck being bored decides to go ashore and see what the news of the town was. Huck dresses up like a girl, gives himself the name Sarah Williams and an elaborate story to boot; he speaks with Mrs. Judis Loftus, a new resident in Huck’s hometown, and time after time during their conversation accidently messes up his carefully laid out facade as a girl, once letting slip that his name was “M-Mary Williams” (59), Mrs.
Judith replies, “honey, I thought you said it was Sarah when you first come in?” (59) and Huck shoots back “Oh yes’m I did … Sarah’s my first name. Some calls me Sarah. Some calls me Mary.” (59). Finally Judith asks for Huck’s real name, Huck response with another lie, and points out the cracks in Huck’s attempt at girlish behavior and lets Huck go without any trouble. In conclusion, these instances and many others show that in even the toughest situations Huck can slip out of them as quick as a bar of soap between two opposing forces.
4. Twain depicts the Mississippi River with basically three different symbols. The biggest on of all is Freedom. Both Huck and Jim use the river to steal away from oppressive forces such as slavery and abusive fathers. In the beginning of the novel Huck escapes the cabin in which his father imprisoned him, fakes his death and sails away to freedom in a canoe he found.
For Jim it was the same way, he waited until every one was gone and stole away on a stolen raft and he did this for on particular reason because “dey’d miss dat skiff you see… So I says, a raft is what I’s arter; it doan’ make no track.” (44). Both persons used it to runaway from their problems and used the river as a safe and non trail leaving way to do so. A second symbol of the river is a fail safe to elude trouble some encounters. On incident was when Huck was told by Mrs. Judith that her husband and some other men were going to hunt down the missing slave, also so known as Jim to get the three hundred dollar award, and they were to do so that night on the same island Jim was currently hiding on.
Huck rushes to Jim wakes him and they set off on the river “past the foot of the island dead still, never saying a word” (63). The final symbol is safety. Jim and Huck feel safe emotionally on the river where it is clear of people looking for them and society itself. After Huck was killed by some Shepardsons Huck and Jim escaped unscathed and set away from the feuding families and onto their beloved river, Huck even said “I never felt easy till the raft was two mile below there and out in the middle of the Mississippi river” (117), where it is safe. 10. Huckle Berry Finn definitely should be read by any person of any age.
This book is history and readers will learn a thing or two about how people acted, spoke and treated people slaves and white people alike in that time period. Every one should have the chance to read factual literature about a topic in which most people in the twenty first century are usually uncomfortable about; for it is not easy to speak of because of some of the horrendous treatment given to African Americans. Although this book does not get into the most gruesome details it does bring to light that some people did have issues with it. In fact a great deal of taboo is presented in the novel such as child abuse and scandals, such as pretending to a dead man’s brother to get a butt load of cash. It covers a ton of those gray areas.