Theme Of Morality In Huck Finn

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is regarded by many to be a central document to American Literature from the point it was written up until the present day. This position is supported by critics such as Leo Marx and Lionel Trilling, who praise the novel of the themes present, detailing morality and racism, but criticised by critics such as Jane Smiley, who believes that due to the novel’s shortcomings, it has little to offer to the cultural value of America. The novel is at times occupied with events that fail to add to the theme of the novel such as the evasion chapters which contradict the theme of morality present throughout the novel, however, the novel through its pre-civil war American setting and its list of important…show more content…
During Huck’s adventures he encounters con artists and criminals who help shape the morality of Huck towards the novel. When Huck encounters the bandits aboard the boat he debates with himself whether he should help them while the boat was sinking despite the fact that were criminals. The bandits end up dying, however Huck further has moral quandaries when debating whether or not to turn in Jim and what to do with the two con, the Duke and the King, he meets. A quote in the novel, which expresses the morality of Huck after debating whether or not to turn in Jim is “Dah you goes, de ole true Huck; de on'y white genlman dat ever kep' his promise to ole Jim”. Huck desired to turn in Jim because he did not want to go to hell for stealing someone's property, but it is the positive comments Jim made about Huck which encouraged him not to. This shows that Huck has a sense of morality and it is one of the many examples of the ethical quandaries Huck gets into. Smiley states that Huck does not act in accordance with his feelings. As Huck is not against slavery, but he still likes Jim. This is incorrect as Huck does not necessarily like all slaves as much as he likes Jim so that does not prove that he believes slavery should be outlawed. Religion plays a large role in the novel. The Novel begins with Huck being ‘civilised’ by Miss Watson and being taught christian values and manners. Huck later goes on in the novel to reject many aspects of the religion he was such ‘thou shalt not steal’ as he decides against turning in Jim. This later causes Huck to conclude that he would go to hell and this is revealed in the quote “There was the Sunday-school, you could a gone to it; and if you'd a done it they'd a learnt you there that people that acts as I'd been acting about that nigger goes to everlasting

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