How does one distinguish between good and evil? This question has been plaguing modern culture for years and the search for the distinct line between what is right and wrong has proven to just create a gray area of confusion. Many authors over the years have tried to deal with this question, each coming up with their own personal line. Mark Twain played with this question when he wrote Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The main character, Huck Finn, tries to work through this issue, battling a deformed conscience against his pure heart. Huck starts life with a pure heart which guides his conscience, but he still must battle with the implications of a corrupt society and its effect to raise a deformed mind. Despite encounters with civilization and separation from innocence, the pure conscience wins out because of Huck’s relationships with humans.
The deformed conscience capitalizes on contact with civilization and separation from Jim by trying to sway the decisions that Huck makes. Civilization has perverted ideas about what is right and wrong, and without the pureness of Huck’s relationship with Jim, Huck has no protection from these views. Huck gets separated from Jim at one point by a steamboat, and ends up staying with the Grangerfords, the “perfect” southern family. This family is the perfect image of southern aristocracy, the best of civilization with their large plantation, familial devotion and Christian beliefs. Yet all is not as it seems “on account of the feud (112).” The Grangerfords are in the middle of a murderous feud with another aristocratic family, the Shepherdsons. Even though very few people still know why the feud exists, the families will keep fighting until “everybody’s killed off (113)…
…th them. The only way to recognize true friends, such as these, is to forget what society says, and only look for relationship based on companionship and love. I need innocence in my life, the innocence of being able to giggle over cute bunnies after sitting down to discuss how egotistical I have been recently. Society doesn’t focus on these pure relationships, but instead on those relationships that build one’s financial, social, or economic status. The best people may not bring me immediate success, and probably will seem like they are even more messed up than me. But the people that have hurt the most love and know the most about loving. By striving to accept everyone for whom they are and seeing the good in those who don’t appear such, I will find the friends I wish for. Relationships based on innocence and purity will form me to be the person I was meant to be.