Adventures Of Huck Finn By Twain And Cruelness

Throughout the tale of Huckleberry Finn as told by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens),
almost every character for his or her own reasons lies. This can be considered a
commentary on the morality and ethics of man kind by Mr. Clemens. Almost no
person exists that has never uttered at lease one untruth. That is one of the
wonderful things about this novel. It closely mimics real life. There are
characters that lie for personal gain. There are also those that lie only in
hopes of helping others. Though both are lies, one can be considered courteous
or even heroic at times, where the other can only appear greedy and wrong no
matter what light it is viewed in. Mark Twain often uses the river to denote
freedom and purity, however just as many lies are told on the river as off. This
is because Twain doesnít make the assumption that all lies are wicked, and can
thus attach them to his symbol of pure good. Practically every "good"
character in Huckleberry Finn lies. Huck himself lies on almost countless
occasions. Miss Watson lies on at least one occasion. Jim tells several lies
during the tale. Tom Sawyer is practically unable to speak the truth. Yet none
of these characters are seen as morally corrupt. The villainous characters lie
on a constant basis in the course of the story. The king makes lying an art at
times, while the duke lies without pause for his entire appearance in the story.

Pap makes up numerous tales during his time in the book. All these characters
are considered evil and wrongdoers. The difference is the fact that the latter
characters lie in hopes of personal gain, while the first characters lie to help
others, or in order to entertain. Nearly every character lies in Huckleberry

Finn; it is their motivation for their lies that defines their character to the
reader. Huckleberry himself tells many a lie during the story. Perhaps his
biggest lie is when he fakes his own death, and makes the whole town look for
his "dead carcass" (Clemens 32). This caused the widow and Miss Watson a
terrible amount of heartache and concern. He also helped Jim escape by telling
men on a passing boat that the man on his raft was his father who "got the
small pox" rather than a run away slave (Clemens 75). Although the first lie
hurt some people, the reader interprets it as Huckís only choice and therefore
doesnít "mark him as a bad person" (Miner 23). The perception of Huck is
that of a hero, so no matter the moral choices he makes, we tend to see him as
such. Miss Watson, a picture of Godliness tells a terrible lie. She swore to Jim
that he wouldnít "sell him down to New Orleans," while she had full
intention to until he ran off (Clemens 39). This lie was the type that held gain
for Miss Watson, but negative affects for others namely Jim. Yet even though she
is seen as somewhat of an ogre until she eventually releases Jim, she is not
seen as one of the villainous characters of the book for this lie. This has to
do mostly with her being introduced with Huckís interests apparently as her
main concern by giving him directions for his own good such as "sit up
straight" and the like (Clemens 8). By being brought into the readerís view
as a role model, the cruel lie she told is diminished and barley even dwelled
upon by most readers. Tom Sawyer is a professional liar. Tom however is
considered imaginative rather than a liar for the most part. He is known well
for his lies amongst the other characters. When Huck fakes his own death, Jim
comments that "Tom Sawyer couldnít get up no better plan" since Tom is
constantly lies (Clemens 39). Tom also takes part in the scheme to steal Jim out
of captivity; the whole time lying to Huck that Jim isnít free when he knows
perfectly well that Miss Watson freed Jim on her deathbed. Tomís character is
a diabolical liar and is yet seen only as a mischief-maker and not a true threat
to anyone. Even the lovable innocent Jim will lie for personal gain. His"innocence is lost" when he successfully scams unwitting Huck (Miner 21). He
manages to trick Huck out of a quarter for the use of his "magic hairball"
that tells the future (Clemens 19). This lie was only designed to get Huckís
money, not to hurt