The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is an excellent study of morality. The main character, Huck, encounters people like Widow Douglas, Mary Jane, Susan, Joanna, and Aunt Sally who serve as foils for Huck throughout the novel. Huck in encountering these foils is able to decipher moral decisions that are plagued by civilizing influences. One instance is where Huck is touched by Aunt Sally’s genuine concern of him and “Sid” that Huck feels reprehensible for leaving her, and vows never to hurt her again. Another instance deals with what Widow Douglas and society teach Huck, which is not to assist a slave in escaping since that will send them to Hell. Huck is then put into the position where he can either save Jim from slavery or turn him in to Miss Watson, and Huck chooses to save Jim no matter the consequences. A person can do wrong, and right themselves by undoing what they did which expresses human decency. Huck displays human decency when he facilitates the robbers in stealing the girls’ money, but then he has a discussion with the girls and feels remorse for his actions, so he steals back the money from the girls. Redemption is a form of morality that humans have, and Huck displays within the novel. Twain eludes Huck as an example of human honor.
Honor may not be correct at first, but it is the ability to do the right thing even if a person is committing something wrong.
Honor may not be correct at first; it is the ability to do the right thing even if a person is committing something wrong. Huck learns from his Pap to let the Duke and Dauphin have their way, so when the Duke and Dauphin plan to steal Peter Wilk’s money; Huck does not object, but complies with helping them. “If I never learnt nothing else out of Pap…
…ut “after that I wouldn’t ‘a’ went not for kingdoms” (Twain 283). Huck promising “that I wouldn’t never do nothing to grieveness her anymore” (Twain 283) shows the decency he has, not to hurt Aunt Sally again.
Twain writes the novel having Huck be the central character that undergoes changes in thinking and setting. The changes in the setting effect Huck, by Huck interacting with new characters and allowing him to grow and be his own person. By doing so, Huck is able to decide moral decisions morally. Huck is able to decide how to act properly in any situation. Huck being able to decide major decisions, ties into human morality. What is right and wrong, and what has honor and decency. The novel thus portrays an excellent study of human morality.
Twain, Mark. The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn. The United States of America: Tom Doherty Associates,1988.