The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Human Nature Essay The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the story of a boy named Huckleberry Finn and his struggles as he escapes an abusive father and an environment that he does not want to be a part of. Huckleberry Finn soon encounters many different events while traveling down the Mississippi River with Jim, an escaped slave, who is fleeing from the same woman Miss Watson. These events are addressing actual issues of the time. Mark Twain uses satire in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to shine a light on several things he believes to be wrong with society. On multiple occasions Mark Twain illustrates the good and bad sides of human nature. While Huck and Jim are traveling down the Mississippi River they encounter a pair of con men whom Huck and Jim rescue as they are being run out of a river town. The older man, who appears to be about seventy, claims to be the “dauphin,” the son of King Louis XVI and heir to the French throne. The younger man, who is about thirty, claims to be the usurped Duke of Bridgewater. Although Huck quickly realizes the men are frauds, he and Jim remain at their mercy, as Huck is only a child and Jim is a runaway slave. The duke and the dauphin carry out a number of increasingly disturbing cons as they travel down the river on the raft. These two men are representing a group of people known as “carpetbaggers”. “Carpetbaggers” were people from the north who came to the South to take advantage of the gullible southerners. Twain uses these characters to show that people are willing to take advantage of others disregarding their safety and property.
While Huck, Jim, and the two con men are traveling down the river they encounter a town where a murder occurs. Huck is walking down a street when a drunken man named Boggs is shot dead by Colonel Sherburn because Boggs had insulted his honor. A mob then proceeds to storm over to Colonel Sherburn’s house with the intention of lynching him for the murder of the drunken man Boggs. Sherburn proceeds to stop the mob by calling them out and saying that they are cowards. “A man’s safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind- as long as it’s daytime and you’re not behind him” is one part of his speech that is calling out the mob as cowards. He then proceeds to say (page #145) “A man goes in the night with a hundred masked cowards at his back and lynches the rascal.” That sentence is connected to the KKK because they would often go out at night, dressed in a white cloak and hood and lynch African Americans because they were white supremacists. Mark Twain uses this speech delivered by Colonel Sherburn to speak about human nature and the mob mentality. Being in a mob changes how people will act and they will do something that they would normally