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Essay on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

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Huck Finn, the protagonist in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, comes from the lowest level of society and yet his personality is more pure than anyone else. Huck’s father is the town drunk, and because he avoids his father, Huck is frequently homeless. The difference in background distances Huck from the mainstream society making him skeptical to change, as he is when the Widow Douglas attempts to “reform” him. Although he was not integrated into society, he has his own moral outlook on life that is pure. Huck encounters the slave Jim who is a factor into his parting from the corrupted society they live in. Jim puts a hole into Huck’s understanding of the world; Huck learned that slaves are property, not actually intelligent humans, but after traveling with Jim down the river, Huck struggles with his understanding of society’s views. Huck is young, inexperienced and rebellious but throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he undergoes a loss of innocence as he experiences society’s prejudices through the eyes of Jim the slave.
Jim is Huck’s companion throughout his adventure down the river, but Jim is also a slave who works under Miss Watson and a man who is strongly affected by superstition. During Jim and Huck’s first encounter, Huck first impression was that he is superstitious idiot. In parallel with Huck’s perception of Jim, “Jim sometimes reveals himself in conversation to be quite aggressive, self-righteous, self-centered, and deceptive.” (Mason 13). “An understanding of Jim’s character is by no means a simple matter, he is a highly complex and original creation, although he appears at first very simple”; Jim’s character is revealed slowly throughout his travels with Huck. During Huck and Jim’s time on the Jackson’...


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...03. Student Resources in Context. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.
James, Pearl. "Overview of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."EXPLORING Novels. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
Kaye, Frances W. "Race and Reading: The Burden of Huckleberry Finn." Canadian Review of American Studies 29.1 (1999): 13-48. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 138. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
Mason, Ernest D. "Attraction and Repulsion: Huck Finn 'Nigger' Jim, and Black Americans." CLA Journal 33 (Sept. 1989): 36-48. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Thomas J. Schoenberg and Lawrence J. Trudeau. Vol. 161. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
Twain, Mark, and Donald McKay. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1948. Print.



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