Essay Preview: Huck Finn
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In Mark Twains portrayal of a young boys journey through self-discovery and lifes meaning, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” there are many passages that deal with Huck Finns quest for truth, friendship, and the ambiguous clash between head and heart. A significant passage that occurs towards the conclusion of the novel that is a major turning point in Hucks character occurs when Huck considers writing a letter to Miss Watson that explains where her runaway slave, Jim, is being held. This is the main moral conflict of the novel and it seems even more problematic because Huck did consider turning Jim in earlier in their journey together, making this the second time Huck considered doing this to his friend. This whole turning point in the story comes about when Huck finds out that the duke and the dauphin have sold Jim and he is being held captive in the Phelpses shed. Huck then ponders whether his old life in St. Petersburg would be much better than what his life has become; even if he does go back to being miserable in the Widow Douglas home and Jim goes back to his unfair life as a slave. This entire passage, which focuses on Hucks internal conflicts, heavily emphasizes how the journey with Jim has, in fact, profoundly affected Hucks attitude towards Jim as more than just a black slave, but as a person and more importantly, as his friend.
Since Huck has changed and matured so much throughout his journey, he now has to deal with his own conscious and the dilemmas that are causing him to think of the differences between what is right and what is, in a sense, wrong something that Huck had never dealt with before. At this point in the novel, Huck faces the inner struggle of whether or not the “right” thing to do was to write Miss Watson and tell of his friend Jims whereabouts. Hucks predicament lies in the fact that if he were to tell Miss Watson, she would find Jim and end up selling him to slavery anyway. On the other hand, Huck felt as if he would be, in a way, embarrassed if he were to tell her because he had helped Jim hide for so long, which in his eyes is sinful. Yet this is when Hucks conscious comes into play and he starts to evaluate the relationship in which he holds with Jim. When Huck thinks back upon the good times that he experienced with Jim and how kind Jim has always been to him, he realizes that he cannot turn him in and decides to “steal Jim out of slavery” and risk “going to hell.” The whole idea of Huck not being able to pray because he doesnt believe in the religious systems and cares too much for Jim to deny his existence as a person reflects back on Chapter one, when Huck questioned his religious duties and sentiments in the first place. Huck resolves this situation by listening to his inner-self and ultimately decides that the only right thing in this particular equation would be to free Jim, in whatever way possible. This shows how Huck comes to accept Jim as someone who is equal to himself, and vows to save him even if it may eventually send him to hell.
Although this is a small episode from