Adventures Of Huck Finn By Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is based on a young boy’s coming of age in

Missouri of the mid-1800s. This story depicts many serious issues that occur on
the "dry land of civilization" better known as society. As these somber
events following the Civil War are told through the young eyes of Huckleberry

Finn, he unknowingly develops morally from both the conforming and
non-conforming influences surrounding him on his journey to freedom. Huck’s
moral evolution begins before he ever sets foot on the raft down the

Mississippi. His mother has died, and his father is constantly in a drunken
state. Huck grows up following his own rules until he moves in with the Widow

Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson. Together, the women attempt to civilize

Huck by making him attend school, study religion, and act in a way the women
find socially acceptable. However, Huck’s free-spirited soul keeps him from
joining the constraining and lonely life the two women have in store for him.

The freedom Huck seeks in Tom Sawyer’s gang is nothing more than romantic
child’s-play. Raiding a caravan of Arabs really means terrorizing young
children on a Sunday school picnic, and the stolen "joolry" is nothing more
than turnips or rocks. Huck is disappointed that the adventures Tom promises are
not real and so, along with the other members, he resigns from the gang. Still,
he ignorantly assumes that Tom is superior to him because of his more suitable
family background and fascination with Romantic literature (Twain). Pap and"the kidnapping" play another big role in Huck’s moral development. Pap is
completely antisocial and wishes to undo all of the civilizing effects that the

Widow and Miss Watson have attempted to instill in him. However, Pap does not
symbolize freedom; he promotes drunkenness, prejudice, and abuse. Huck escapes
the cabin to search for the freedom he yearns for. It is after he escapes to

Jackson Island that he meets the most influential character of the novel, Jim.

After conversing, Huck learns things about the runaway slave that he had never
been aware of. Jim has a family, dreams, and talents such as knowing "all
kinds of signs about the future," people’s personalities, and weather
forecasting (Twain 69). However, Huck sees Jim as a gullible slave. He plays
tricks on him like the "rattlesnake event" that nearly gets Jim killed. At
this point in the novel, Huck still holds the belief that blacks are essentially
different from whites. In addition, his conscience reminds him that he’s a"low-down and dirty abolitionist" for helping Jim run away from his owner.

Huck does not see that Jim is looking for freedom just as he is (Master Plots).

The first adventure Huck and Jim take part in while searching for freedom is the
steamboat situation. Huck shows development of character in tricking the
watchman into going back to the boat to save the criminals. Even though they are
thieves, and plan to murder another man, Huck still feels that the forfeit of
their lives would be too great a punishment. Some may see Huck’s reaction to
the event as crooked but, unlike most of society, Huck Finn sees the good in
people and attempts to help them with sincerity and compassion. Getting lost in
the fog while floating down the Mississippi River leads to a major turning point
in the development of Huck Finn’s character. Up to this event, he has seen Jim
as a lesser person than himself. After trying to deny the fog event to Jim, he
says, "It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble
myself to a slave; but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it afterward,
neither (Twain 92)." He continues by explaining how he could never do such a
thing again. Huck has clearly gained respect for Jim here, which explains the
risks he is willing to take for Jim later in the book. A short yet significant
scene is when the men on shore want to check Huck’s raft for runaway slaves.

He escapes by tricking them into thinking that his dad is onboard with smallpox.

This scene shows a negative view of human nature. The men had helped Huck until
they realized that they were in danger themselves. They put their own safety
above that of others, and while this is sometimes acceptable, it is by no means
a noble trait (Gerber). On the other hand, Huck risks his own freedom to see
that Jim finds his. The feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepardsons adds