Nothingness: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Huck Essay

Submitted By lizzindeed
Words: 1541
Pages: 7

Elizabeth Smith
Professor Jared Hunt
English 242-71A
7 October 2013

Morality in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic American novel. The strongest theme is morality or the struggle to choose right from wrong. Google defines morality as “principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.” This best describes the theme in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there is a continuous struggle between right and wrong or good and evil. Through out this book Huck repeatedly has to make decisions concerning his morals. From choosing to stay with the widow to finally deciding to help free Jim. In the beginning Tom Sawyer wants to start a band of robbers. Huck decides to join but doesn't stay with it because he couldn't find the benefit in it. Being robbers or thieves is breaking the law and bringing harm to other people and their belongings, this is a moral decision. The right thing is to not join the gang f robbers and the wrong is to rob people and steal from them. “We played robber now and then, about a month and then I resigned. All the boys did. We hadn't robbed nobody, hadn't killed any people, but only just pretended.” (Twain, 19) Another strong moral issue is his decision to stay with the widow or runaway. She is going to teach him properly and he knows he should stay with her and do the right thing but he leaves anyway. Huck's money is a decision that requires some thought. He gives his money to Judge Thatcher to keep it from his father. Like any child he could have had all his money and spent it on the silly things children spend money on, candy, toys etc. Instead he chooses to keep as far away from himself as he can giving up the lavish lifestyle money brings. "Please take it," says I, "and don't ask me nothing—then I won't have to tell no lies." (Twain, 27) It takes a mature and intelligent child to give up money that belongs to them. To children money is like candy. Huck makes this moral decision to keep the peace in his life. Once Huck's father catches up to him he is again faced with moral dilemmas leading up to his final decision to fake his death. “They won't ever hunt the river for anything but my dead carcass. They'll soon get tired of that, and won't bother no more about me. If there was ever morality in a decision it is a decision that deals with death. Whether the choice is killing oneself or faking their own death. Huck is stuck in the cabin in the woods with his abusive father and has to find a way out. Once Huck has passed the mess with his father he runs into Jim and the biggest moral issue of the book. Even though the whole time Huck is helping Jim escape, he only just decides he is going to help Jim be free towards the end of the book. “It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll go to hell"—and tore it up.” (Twain, 321) Huckleberry struggles many times with the thought of helping free a slave. He knows it is not acceptable in the world around him. He is also aware that if he they were to get caught not only would Jim be in trouble but Huck as well. Through out their journey Huck thinks about Jim's freedom many times and often times considers turning him in but quickly changes his mind. It is not until the end of the book when the King and the Duke have sold Jim to a family as a run a way slave, that Huck makes his final decision to free Jim no matter what it takes. This shows moral judgment on behalf of Huck and the right and wrong he chooses not the right and wrong society wishes for him. Along the trip down the river Huck and Jim do make some money but otherwise they are stealing, or borrowing as they called it. Borrowing was something Huck picked up from his father. “Mornings before