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Huck's Battle with Conscience in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay

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The battle between what is right and what is wrong has proven to be a heavy subject from all aspects of history, but in some cases the conflict at hand may be internal. In Mark Twain’s 1884 novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the title character yearns for answers about his own morals and principles. This coming of age novel follows the tale of a young boy, Huck, and a runaway slave, Jim. Mark Twain wrote this book as a direct sequel to his action packed and fun loving bestseller The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written in 1876. Immediately following the conclusion of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn picks up with Huck and his best friend, Tom, causing trouble just as usual. Huck makes the brave decision to run away and finds his former caretaker’s slave, Jim. The two decide to partake in an adventure together, and learn valuable lessons about each other and themselves in the process. Huck and Jim make transitions together within the novel. Jim makes a shift from a runaway slave to a free man while Huck transforms from a boy to a young adult. As the novel progresses, Huck establishes a new opinion about Jim. Huck perceives Jim as “stubborn and unteachable” towards the beginning of the novel, but over time he starts to realize that Jim is a human being who deserves freedom just like anyone else. Near the end of the novel it is evident that Huck begins to see Jim as a friend and someone he can rely on. (Nelson) Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck battles with his conscience by first giving up and feeling sorry for himself, then deceiving himself by saying he will do what is right, and finally coming to terms with whether he is truly doing right or wrong.
In the first few chapters of ...


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...om" in Bloom, Harold, ed. The American Dream, Bloom's Literary Themes. New York: Chelsea Publishing House, 2009. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 14 May 2014
Schmitz, Neil. "The Paradox of Liberation in Huckleberry Finn" in Texas Studies in Literature
and Language (1971). In Bloom, Harold, ed. Enslavement and Emancipation, Bloom's Literary Themes. New York: Chelsea Publishing House, 2010. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 14 May 2014
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Bantam Dell, 1981.
Yates, Norris W. "The 'Counter-Conversion' of Huckleberry Finn," American Literature 32, no. 1
(March 1960): pp. 1–4. Quoted as "Huck's Struggle with Conscience" in Harold Bloom, ed. Mark Twain, Bloom's Major Novelists. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishing, 1999. (Updated 2007.) Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 14 May 2014



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