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Finding Freedom in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Going against society and fleeing his home is just what Huck did in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Tom Sawyer. Huck was a young boy who earlier found $6000 in a cave with his friend Tom. He was living with Widow Douglas, Aunt Sally, and her slave Jim. They were constantly trying to civilize him. Huck’s father, also known as Pap, the town drunk, then kidnaps him and takes him to a cabin in the woods to start a new uncouth life. Huck likes his new uncivilized life, but he knows he must escape from his father, who continuously beats him. He escapes down the Mississippi River, and during his adventure, he finds Jim, who ran away to avoid being sold. The two travel the river in search of freedom. Throughout the novel, Huck develops morally as he secures his money, deals with two frauds, and protects Jim.

Huck knew that if Pap found out about his inheritance he would try to get it. Huck was suspicious Pap was back in town when, down by the river he saw a boot-print which had a cross in the left heel, he knew it was Pap’s print. Huck gave the money to Judge Thatcher so he could invest it and receive a dollar a day for interest. Huck said to the judge, “Please take it and don’t ask me nothing-then I won’t have to tell no lies (page 16).” Now if his father asked about it, he could honestly say he didn’t have it. He knew Pap just wanted the money to buy alcohol and that if he didn’t have the money, Pap would leave him alone. Giving the judge his money showed his trust in others, maturity, and common sense.

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Huck also showed maturity, when dealing with two frauds, the duke and the king. Huck saves the two men as they are being pursued by dogs and the people of the town, who had just been cheated out of their money. As Huck is travelling toward a steamboat, they meet a young man who mistakes the king for Mr. Wilks, from England. Mr. Wilks’s brother Peter just died, leaving his fortune for his two other brothers. The duke and the king go into town pretending to be the two brothers. They have most of the town fooled, even Mr. Wilks naive nieces, who turn their money over to their uncles for investment. Huck feels guilty for watching all this happen and not doing anything about it. At night he spies on the duke and the king and watches them hide the money. After they leave he takes it and puts it in the coffin, so he can give it to Mr. Wilks nieces. Huck also watches their family slaves be sold, which upsets the nieces. When he sees them cry he says, “It’s a rough gang, them two frauds, and I’m fixed so I got to travel with them a while longer, whether I want to or not (page 186).” Huck knows he had to be honest and tell her about the hoax. He feels guilty because he knows it hurt her. He still has to travel with the duke and king, because if he leaves them, they may report Jim.

Huck ignores society’s opinion, so he can save his friend. When Huck first finds Jim and decides to help him search for freedom, this is a huge step towards his moral development. Huck is constantly protecting Jim by telling lies to those who are suspicious. Even when Huck wants to tell, he can’t. One time on his way to tell, he meets two men who were looking for runaway slaves. The men are curious to check out his raft, but Huck hints that his dad is on the raft and sick with smallpox. The men give Huck money and tell him when looking for help, he shouldn’t hint his dad is sick. After sticking by Jim, Huck says, “What’s the use you learning to do right when its troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong. (page 91).” Huck protected Jim, and although he felt guilty for going against society, he had to trust his instincts. Jim was a good friend to him, and he couldn’t turn his back on him.

Huck had to go against society and everything he was taught to morally develop. Through constant lies, he was able to protect his money, deal with the duke and king and help Jim. I think we could all learn a lot from Huck. He threw his colour aside to help a friend, and he listened to his conscience. He wanted his freedom and was able to pursue it by making good decisions. I think if we stop judging people, follow our hearts and make good decisions, we can be successful and happy people.

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Finding Freedom in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. (2021, Feb 28). Retrieved June 15, 2021, from