In Huck’s HandsHuckleberry Finn Essay
Society tends to make a substantial impact on certain individuals; others hear the society’s influences and decide what they personally believe despite contrasting opinions. As William Ellery Channing, a 19th century author, once said, “No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent.” In Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, the protagonist, Huck Finn, struggles with the difference between what is right and wrong. Throughout the novel, he faces situations with Jim, the Duke, the Dauphin, and the Wilks family in which he has to put his own opinions into action. In a constant effort to assess his true beliefs without the pressures of humanity, Huck Finn develops into an independent being who can decide, on his own, what he accepts whether it involves supporting slavery, turning Jim in, or confessing the truth.Most of the novel centers around the relationship between Huck and Jim, Miss Watson’s runaway slave. During their first encounter, Huck comments, “I was ever so glad to see Jim. I warn’t lonesome, now” (46). In the beginning of their companionship on the island, Huck sees Jim as a friend, someone that will keep him company. However, later in the story, Huck begins to question whether or not it is right to help Jim. Afterall, Jim does belong to Miss Watson. But in the same respect, besides the fact that Jim is a slave, Huck is also running away since legally, Huck belongs to Pap. So, Huck continues to venture with Jim in hopes that he is doing the right thing. When stopped by men who are searching for runaways, Huck responds that his family, all of them sick with smallpox, is onboard the raft. Of course, the men decide not to check the boat in fear of the infection and even give Huck money for the family. Afterwards, Huck “got aboard the raft, feeling bad and low, because I knowed very well I had done wrong” (101). However, he quickly reevaluates his actions and “says to myself, hold on, – s’pose you’d a done right and give Jim up; would you felt better than what you do now? No, says I, I’d feel bad – I’d feel just the same way I do now” (101).