Huck Finn Response
In the novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, Huck Finn said, “It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it” (201). The relationship between Huck Finn and Jim is questioned in this excerpt. Finn cannot decide if he should turn Jim the slave into Miss Watson or help Jim the father gain freedom. This question of betrayal engrosses Finn’s mind throughout the novel. In his mind, society is telling him to report Jim, but his inner conscience conveys feelings of empathy. At first, their relationship is completely based on circumstance, but then it leads to respect. Ernest Mason wrote that, “When not trying to play the role of Jim’s master, Huck sees Jim as an adult teacher, guide, nurse, and father” (1). Finn looks up to Jim, but continually feels the need to remain dominant over him. Some critics conclude that this complex, illegal relationship led Finn to believe in equality, but I think Finn remained a flawed character throughout the novel. Although he received guidance from Jim, the morals did not remain in his conscience at the novel’s conclusion. Finn’s indecisiveness on whether slavery is justifiable or not proves that society has corrupted him.
In Missouri, Finn and Jim were outcasts. While Finn lived in fear of his abusive, drunkard father, Jim prayed to escape slavery. Although they were both poor and uneducated, Finn was superior to Jim because he was white. The rules of their “sivilized” society forced them to run away. Finn’s need to escape shows that he does not agree with society, but it also shows that he does not know what to believe. One would think that Finn would be racist, but his father does not entirely influence this belief, even after his rant. His father yelled,
“Oh, yes, this is a wonderful govment, wonderful…There was a free nigger there, from Ohio; a mulatter, most as white as a white man…and there ain’t a…
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