Advancement Of The Plot In Huckleberry Finn — страница 3

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virtue and depravity of human hearts” (Cox 354). Huck’s actions in many cases are compelled by “a tender feeling for people the goes along with the assumption that men are dangerous and wicked” (Kearns 113). These direct actions demonstrate the virtue of Huck’s heart, such as when he steals a raft from a group of thieves on a sinking river boat, he goes to get help for them as soon as he escapes. Most people would have decided that since the criminals were murderers as well, that there was no need to help them, they deserved to drown. The depravity of the human heart is demonstrated mainly through the duke and the king. These two con-artists repeatedly cheat honest people out of their money, and conspire for only one reason, to help themselves. As Huck progresses down

the river, he warns a group of sisters who have just lost their father that the duke and king are going to swindle them. Yet, when Huck learns that the duke and king are to be tarred and feathered, he tries to warn them so that they will not come to any harm. Once he sees them tarred and feathered, Huck simply remarks “Human beings can be awful cruel to one another” (Twain 292). These experiences throughout the novel give Huck the chance to increase interest in the already fascinating plot, by scheming to help all those who are in need. The statement “If Huck did not already have a knowledge of human stupidity and weakness his encounters would have forcibly taught it to him” (Walker 76), can truly be seen throughout the encounters of the novel. Another key factor to the

novel is Huck’s conscience. The conscience which Huck has acquired was derived from the social interactions of his youth. This conscience has mainly come as the result of being the son of the town’s drunk (Shmitz 51). His father was a racist alcoholic who tried in all cases to instill the opposite of what is normally considered positive moral values. At one point in the novel, Huck s father tells him that he will beat him if he continues to go to school. So, Huck continues to go to school, but not because he feels it is the right decision, he simply goes to spite his father. This reasoning is key to the moral and social fabric of the novel. Since Huck appears to fight the views of his father, he is more apt to do things such as help a runaway slave, simply to spite the memory

of his father. Yet, the one thing he learned from interaction with his father, was the art of lying. This art is key considering the fact that “Huck’s freedom is purchased through a series of lies” (Hoffman 42). These lies do not demonstrate good moral decision making, yet are based on an inner longing to achieve a goal which is morally sound. So in many cases Huck ignores his conscience which tells him to do what the modern reader would consider wrong, and does in his mind what is wrong, yet in the reader’s eyes is a sound decision. For example, Huck feels terribly guilty for not turning Jim in to the slave traders, yet the reader views this as an excellent decision. However, Huck has no guilt over the fact that he had to lie to keep Jim free. A demonstration of a

deformed conscience played out through the interactions of Huck and Jim, and formed by a cold society. Finally as previously mentioned, the most profound and best remembered social interactions of the novel occur between Huck and Jim, for “it is in Jim, that Huck finds his true father” (Cox 352). It is on Jackson Island that the reader can see a bond form, and a connection established between the two, where Huck comes back to the island once he learns people are coming in search of Jim. He rushes in and says “Git up and hump yourself, Jim! There ain’t a minute to lose, they’re after us!” (Twain 81). This is where Huck first feels a sense of responsibility since everyone thought he was dead, no one was coming after him, yet he used the inclusive word “us”, rather

than “you”. Then later in the novel, when Huck plays a trick on Jim that deeply hurts Jim, Twain creates the situation of a white boy, who goes and apologizes to a black man, creating a satirical situation for his time, and a profoundly memorable event to the reader after Huck states that he was never sorry he apologized. In truth, many critics feel that “when Huck apologizes to Jim, it is the beginning of the moral testing and development of Huck’s character” (Miller 24). Bloom then states that on their raft, “Huck and Jim are a family, a community, a community of saints” (Bloom 4). The saintly virtue attributed to them in that quote is based upon how they crack down moral barriers, and “once outside society, allow Huck to express his feelings for Jim as an