Spirituality In Mark Twain’s The Adventures Of Huckleberry FinnThe Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, written by Samuel Clemens, is a novel that challenges the views of society and questions life through the eyes of an adolescent boy. By sprinkling traces of spirituality and religious views throughout the story, Clemens creates a “martyr-like” profile for his lead character Huckleberry Finn. Huck uses his religious views as his own conscience and challenges the status quo rules of his pious society to make his own decisions which leads him on a path to personal growth.
Though Huck was not blessed with a loving family to teach him the ways of the world, and instead grows up more independently, he was taught by many others that in Heaven “…all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever” (30). Of course, this is not an appealing image for an adolescent boy who fantasized about being in a gang of robbers with his friends. Perhaps even if it is appealing, it may seem out of possible reach to a boy who lives the life that Huck does- with a drunkard father, reading stories of murder and robbery, and witnessing the cruelty and injustice to slaves. Without a firm foundation and someone to teach him, Huck must continually rely on the pieces of information that he hears from others and his own observations which often leaves him confused and misinformed.
One of the most noticeable traits of Huck’s personality that reflect his opinion on religion and spirituality is that he often dismisses such popularly accepted beliefs as Moses (because he is dead), but will put his faith into a hairball that he believes is magic because it was taken from an oxen’s stomach and therefore he believes that “it had a spirit inside of it, and it knowed everything” (38). In fact, he even asks it about his father and supplies it with a fake coin for it’s services. Perhaps Huck truly believes in it, or he is searching for something to believe in that he could depend on. In either case, he is wise enough not to give it his real dollar.
Clemens gives the entire story a religious vibe through the continual use of phrases that relate to or have a biblical sense to them. Just one example of this is when Huck is describing his father after coming home from laying drunk in a gutter the entire night before, and as Huck narrates “A body would have thought he was Adam, he was all mud” (44).