Hucks Struggle Essay

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Huck’s Struggle with His Conscience
Yonathan Michael
Period 3

Yonathan Michael
O’Neill Period 3

Billions of avid children all over the world, filled with sheer excitement every Christmas evening, struggle to fall asleep as they anticipate Santa Claus’s arrival. However, once these children reach a certain age, despite what they have been taught by their parents, they begin to feel skeptical about the fact that an overweight, old man could deliver billions of gifts in just one night. Through maturation and experience, children begin to deviate from this naïve credence and understand that they have been told a lie to all of their lives. In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by American author Mark Twain, set in Missouri in the early 18th century, the main character, Huck, goes through this human process. Huck’s character develops as he is often deciding whether to obey society or do what his own conscience tells him to do. Twain uses the character of Huck and his struggles with his conscience, to represent the human being’s ability to develop a rebellious way of thinking with instinctive moral aspects. This occurrence is best shown through Huck’s thoughts and actions in response to the events that take place with a runaway slave named Jim————his ludicrous prank involving a dead rattlesnake on Jim, his unscrupulous attempt in convincing Jim of losing his own mind, and an encounter with two white men looking for runaway slaves, Throughout the story, the aftermath of Huck’s jocular acts cause him to think a way he’s never thought before. Although Huck never has bad intentions, a prank he does turns out to be quite dangerous. Huck places a dead rattlesnake nearby Jim, and a live, fellow snake bites Jim on the heel. After the incident, Huck begins to realize that he has made a mistake. “That all comes of my being such a fool as to not remember that wherever you leave a dead snake its mate always comes there and curls around it,” says Huck (49). Although he did not admit he was wrong to Jim, he begins to empathize. It is an abnormality in the south for white people to have any feelings of remorse towards how slaves were treated, but this incident ignites Huck’s way of thinking that goes against this myopic orientation towards slaves. Another incident occurs, triggering Huck’s devious thinking. As Huck and Jim travel up the river on a foggy night, Huck somehow gets separated from the raft. Lost in the smog, Huck struggles to make his way back as he has almost completely lost his sense of direction. During Huck’s absence, Jim is worried sick and panicking. Jim falls asleep and wakes up when Huck finally arrives. In emotional turmoil, Jim describes what happened and Huck tries to convince him that he had dreamt everything. For a moment, Jim was totally convinced. However, Jim sees the debris and dirt on the raft and does not fall for the trick. He was hurt by the fact that Huck would make a joke out of something so serious after he had been so worried. After fifteen minutes, Huck found the courage inside to apologize to Jim without any regrets. He sees that Jim is distraught and bluntly thinks to himself that he “could almost [kiss] his foot to get him to take it back.(80)” This displays Huck’s maturation and show’s how he goes against the lines of American society to feel what is right and see humanity in all. Huck was traveling alongside a runaway slave and began to realize he was actually helping him run away. This troubles Huck because he did not want people to think he was an abolitionist. Where Huck is from, the word abolitionist has bad connotations and it is the last thing a person wants to be. He