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Sample Essay about Huckleberry Finn

Huckleberry Finn

The novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” adjoins “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” A more mature position of the author is seen in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” The novel covers all sides of human experience in details and makes a deeper generalizing meaning. Moreover, a purely art evolution of the writer is also obvious. Twain’s style, which one may see in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” is easy, sharp and sensitive to dialect nuances.

Twain criticizes a bourgeois society from the democratic position. The author opposes children’s consciousness untouched by dirt of bourgeois relations to a life and ideology of “adult” bourgeoisie in his work “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Twain shows us a private world of a child, bares all his feelings and experiences; he shows all steps of the Finn’s maturity. Beginning his work on the novel, Mark Twain could not think that he would write the book not only for adults, but also for children that will include such aspects as the world and children as well as “dimmed” adults. Twain opens children’s psychology and moral qualities of the heroes for the reader. He admires their courage, poeticizes their friendship, and condemns social injustice. The attitude of the author to the world, the events occurring in his country, and life as a whole - with all its particulars is revealed in the oppositions of good and bad (Swan, 2013).


“Huckleberry Finn” in particular is notable for the richness of its portrayals and complex presentations of issues such as family, race, and slavery (“The Norton Anthology”, 2007).
Who is Huckleberry Finn? He is a son of the local drunkard, who does not care about his child. Huck is not forced to go to school. He is brought up only by himself. It makes him mature at rather early age. Pretence is an alien to the boy, and all the conventions of the civilized life are simply intolerable. The main important thing for Huck is to be free, always and in everything. He has everything that makes his life wonderful. Huck is undoubtedly involved with the entertaining games invented by Tom, but he highly appreciates personal freedom and independence. Huck cannot stand hypocrisy. He is made to eat with the help of a fork and a knife. However, he cannot live like that, which makes him escape after three weeks of those tortures. However, despite such severe conditions, this hero does not become embittered, keeps cheerful nature, responsiveness, and a sense of justice (Swan, 2013).

Huck matures earlier than his peers. He often behaves as an adult, especially against his “successful” age-mates. Thus, boys create the predatory gang “to rob and kill” under Tom Sawyer’s leadership at the very beginning of the novel. However, Huck does not see any sense in this game. The hero thinks as an adult and has to care for himself. In fact, he could go fishing and prepare fish for himself or kill a wild pig in the wood. Accurately and elaborately, the hero acts as an adult when representing his murder for escaping from his father. Later, when his adventures on a raft begin, Huck often makes adult acts. It concerns not only his “household” behavior, but also more serious affairs. 

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Huck is quick and resourceful and never loses his presence of mind.  Having appeared on the sinking steamship, he does not only escape from the gang of robbers, but manages to take a half of their production and slips away from “Walter Scott.” Moreover, Huck rescues robbers, who would inevitably drown together with steamship without the boat. He tells the invented story about the family, which allegedly got on a vessel to the ferryman, and the ferryman rescues people. 

  Maturity of Huck is mostly displayed in his attitude to Jim. Huck treats him as equal to himself, in spite of the fact that Jim is a black slave. Moreover, he does not give the black slave away, despite that fact that he is a slave of Ms. Watson. Huck helps his friend until the latest moment when Huck does not learn that Ms. Watson releases Jim. Thus, Huck does not leave Jim in trouble when learns that he is chased up by the police. The hero goes away with him, sharing all his probations.  
Huck and Jim’s adventures are rife with life lessons, various with the hope for freedom, the pain and loss of missed opportunities, the memories of family and friends, the cruelty they’ve witnessed, and the moral dilemmas they encounter. And yet among these trials, they meet with kindness among strangers, the comfort of life on a raft, lovely days and nights of long conversations, the redemption of real friendship, and the healing beauty of nature itself on the river (Shlensky 6). 

The mind of Huck is free from romantic clichés, and his character is formed by reality. He does not have any external ostentatious virtues, he is not a hypocrite, but possesses all essential advantages. The nature gave him a sincere heart, open for all the humiliated people, and rejecting any impudent force. Huck possesses the feeling of internal independence forcing him to run from content and comfort, offered to him by the Douglas widow, to a wide terrible world. His love of freedom is the rejection of hypocrisy, petty-bourgeois well-being and the legalized lie. The main feature of human hypocrisy is atheism. The psychology of the small person, without a doubt, in many respects remained the same, but now it has such features which were not present in Huck. Therefore, Huckleberry Finn has grown as a fair and decent citizen of the country. Thus, Huck, despite his young age, often makes adult acts. The hero is practical and independent, never loses the presence of mind. He is faithful and fair to the friends; he judges people by their qualities and is always on the side of good, despite all difficult circumstances (Swan, 2013).

In comparison to “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, the Huck’s character has a new rather considerable quality - a civic courage. From the first chapters, Mark Twain describes Huck as an active participant of a social conflict. He is a defender of a runaway slave. Rescuing Jim from the slave traders, he risks losing his own freedom. However, Twain emphasizes that the requirements of the struggle for Jim’s freedom is organically inherent in Huck as well as hatred towards hypocrisy and everything that constrains him. 
The Huck’s character is described in development, and this development is convincingly motivated. Huck has grown in the south where slaveholding sets its seal on the way of thinking of any white. Twain does not tear his hero off the environment in which he was brought up; however, at the same time, he shows Huck in a state of incessant struggle against prejudices and hypocrisy of this environment. The dialectic contradiction underlying an image makes Huck especially alive and dynamic; it gives him psychological reliability (Cliffs Notes, 2013). 

In the book we see mature Huck Finn. His life differs from the life of Tom Sawyer. The Huck’s image is closer to the author. Mark Twain especially highly appreciates Huck’s humanity, his human attitude to people. This humanity is shown in his attitude to Jim. Brought up in specific conditions of the legalized slavery, he overcomes the slaveholding prejudices (Cliffs Notes, 2013).

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