Dr. Crystal O’Leary-Davidson
31 Jan 2012
Huckleberry Finn 127 Years Later How many stories remain as popular as this has? Huckleberry Finn has fascinated scholars for many years. Perhaps it is not because of its story but, because of its moral concepts portrayed in the story. Twain was smart in selecting a young, innocent boy to narrate his story. Although it does not let Twain off the hook, let’s not forget who put those ideas into Huck’s head. Twain is still responsible for every word and action in this story. Huckleberry Finn was written in a time when slavery of another human being was not viewed as immoral. It was the way of the land, the proper way to live. It’s easy to call Twain a racist now, but when he wrote the story he was portraying the life of the times. Twain did not use words in this story out of hatred or bigotry. With that said I do not view the story as racist when it was written in the 18th century. Twain wrote a realistic story about the way of life in the 1800’s. He used the dialect of the times, the language of the different cultures and portrayed the lives of the people living in the south. He sought out many different types of people and portrayed their story through the eyes of a young boy. The culture of the times was harsh, and the people did not see their way of live as immoral. They have strong beliefs and thought they could change or beat out the evil in other people. Huck was too young to realize people are not property. Huck himself is not prejudiced; he treats Jim as an equal, not as a slave or someone owned by the white man. At one point, Huck struggles with his morals, knowing it is wrong to help a slave escape.
“Conscience says to me, what had poor Miss Watson done to you, that you could see her nigger go off right under your eyes and never say one single word” (Twain 169). The way that Huck wrestles with his own conscience deepens the southern belief of slavery and the way of live in the 18th century. However, Huck remains true to his word and stays loyal to Jim. Huck does not give Jim up, but protects him from the men who have come looking for runaway slaves. Huck was raised to believe that only the white person could do selfless things and the black person was not capable of loving deeds. This is disproved to Huck when Jim stays to help Tom after he has been shot. Huck says “I knowed he was white inside” (Twain 284).
Huck has been born and raised in a time when owning another human being was not only accepted it was a matter of social status. Huck did not view himself better than any other human