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Essay on Morality in Huckleberry Finn

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Morality has always been defined as having either a good or evil conscious. There is always a choice that a character makes that defines their moral integrity in a literary work and distinguishes them as the hero. In Mark Twain’s story, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, not only does Huck encounters a number of moral circumstances where he or other characters displays situations in which moral ethics is called to questioned, but it proves that despite the religious influence and social expectation, it is through Huck that in order to do what is morally right, one must challenge the moral teaching of the world. Through observation of his world, Huck makes morally ambiguous choices that though may be against his moral teachings. Choice proves that to act on one’s own judgement despite societies expectations demonstrates that hypocrisy of the community as Twain clearly depicts and satirizes Southern society, he depicts the violence and racism that was described as “silvilization”(Kelly). As the community in Twain’s novel follows the general religious teachings and distinguishes the binaries associated with good and evil, Huck is forced to forsake these teachings and goes on a journey to discover his own moral understanding.
In the very beginning of the novel, Huck is forced into learning the religious ideals of what is right from wrong according to Miss Watson and the Widow Douglas. Religion in all standards is clearly one of the major influences when it comes to teaching morality. It provides the general opposition of good versus evil and even the distinction of heaven and hell. For example, Huck takes no pleasure in these teachings by saying “Then she [Miss Watson] told me all about the bad place and I said I wish I was there... S...


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...ed to be morally good. Such as attempting to reform a person from their past misdeeds or the standard view of slavery where the white population is the dominate race. Through Huck, there is a questioning of society’s moral values such as religion and the good intentions of the people whether it is through the government or the family, that he is forced to search for his own moral and ethical authority (Kelly). Like Huck, morality can be addressed as the choices that are either good or bad and from a religious standpoint determines an individual’s spiritual enlightenment.



Works Cited

Kelly, John. ENGLISH 2308E: American Literature Notes. London, ON: University of Western. Fall 2013. Lecture Notes.
Twain, Mark. “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” The Norton Anthology: American Literature. Ed. Julia Reidhead. New York: Norton & Company Inc., 2012. 130-309. Print.



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