Advancement Of The Plot In Huckleberry Finn — страница 2

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exhibits all of the traits of the river valley society (Marx 10). This is the society which condemns Huck for his roguish upbringing and behavior, and Jim for being a runaway slave and a black man. Huck and Jim therefore cannot exist in this society, and so must flee from it, taking to the river, and creating the medium for a long and detailed novel filled with an intertwining plot, and many social conflicts that move this plot along. The very setting of the novel in this valley society creates the automatic conflict mentioned above between Huck and Jim, and the valley society. This society passes condemnation on a rough and unmannered boy and a black man for no other reason than his race. However, from Twain s point of view, To belong to the Mississippi Valley Society is to be

unable to speak the truth, to use one form or another of fantasy language which justifies the greatest cruelties and injustices slavery, economic exploitation, and the arrogant self-righteousness and psychological cruelties practiced, in Twain’s views in the name of Protestant Christianity. (Miller 28) The quote’s significance is that those not outcast from society have been conditioned to accept the views of society without being allowed to speak out against what they perceive as wrong. Rather when they are young, adults use fantasies to justify and explain the injustices suffered by few at the oppressing hands of an unforgiving society. Then by the time they are older, either they have become conformed to the society which they once perceived as wrong and unjust, or they

have become outcasts and an unheard voice. The voice that the outcasts of society would like to express is represented in the social order on the raft where Huck and Jim live as equals, no-one commands, and there is no slave or master. Here one can truly see that “The theme is heightened by the juxtaposition of sharp images of contrasting social orders: the microcosmic community Huck and Jim establish aboard the raft, and the actual society which exists along the Mississippi banks” (Fetterley 446). In contrast, in society of that time period, it would be intolerable for a white boy to live on equal status with a black man and hypocrisy for him to help a runaway slave, let alone live with one. As Marx points out, The raft represents inner feelings, and society represents the

expected (Marx 17). This is a society that tells the ultimate lie , they lie to themselves (Cox 353). This lie to themselves is the belief that they are cultured and white, so are therefore superior to all other types of people. The rejection of Huck by society coupled with the fact that “he has never had status, and the money he acquired in Tom Sawyer is never real to him” (Cox 356), gives him a feeling of isolation from the rest of the “respectable” people. Therefore, in Huck’s mind, he cannot turn to them for help, but must escape from his abusive father on his own. This feeling of withdrawal leads him to Jackson Island, away from habitation, away from the social conflict that drove him, and right into the next chapter of the novel. It is there Huck meets Jim,

another outcast from society one who has never known status, thus creating a common bond between the two. Huck s distaste for loneliness over long periods of time–as demonstrated in his comments about how alone it was in the cabin–gives him the desire to travel with Jim, and help him get to freedom. The to help Jim make it into a free state, is almost mandated by today’s morals, yet during the period when this was written, that went contrary to popular belief. Through this contrast, Twain aims one of the deepest satirical blows of the novel while further advancing the plot. The law of the time period in which the book was set required anyone who found a runaway slave to return him, yet Huck, who is the “hero” and “good guy” of the novel, has to break the law to help

out a friend. Later in the novel, when Jim is unjustly taken to a farm and imprisoned, Huck decides to go steal him back. He considers all of the things he has been told as a child, and finally comes to the conclusion, “All right, then, I’ll go to hell” (Twain 273). The deeply satirical meaning of this statement to a reader is that this boy is helping out a slave, who has been arrested on a bogus reward bill printed up by a con-artist, yet in his mind, he has to choose hell in order to save a black man. Possibly one of the greatest driving factors of the entire novel is Huck s generosity and good will towards men. This generosity leads him to do things that would often be thought of as stupid in most cases. One critic in fact states that “the book directly deals with the