Searching For Morality - Mark Twain

Essay by alwayznoraUniversity, Bachelor's May 2005

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In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the opinion is expressed that society is deaf and blind to morality. Mark Twain exposes a civilization filled with hate and hypocrisy, ignorance and injustice, all through the eyes of an impressionable youth known as Huckleberry Finn. Through his adventures Huck discovers his own conscience, and capacity for loyalty and friendship. He plays a dangerous game filled with life-altering decisions that determine who he is as a person in the world.

The game Huck plays occasionally gets him into a rare moral dilemma. He has to choose between violating the entire code of social, religious, and conventional behavior, which the world has taught him, and betraying the person whom he loves most in his life. Huck's ailing conscience prompts him to write a letter, advising Miss Watson that her slave, Jim, is in Mr. Phelp's possession. After writing the letter he says, "I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now.

But I didn't do it straight off but laid the paper down and set there thinking-thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell" (Twain).

This is just one instance where Huck shows promising signs of breaking free from the close-minded upbringing that has been instilled upon him. Huck's "adventures" are a sort of right of passage to adulthood. He discovers new ways of thinking, acting, and living that he would never have gotten to even consider if he were not exposed to them in the real world. As Huck matures, his values evolve from a selfish, loner attitude to a loyal and dependable friend. When a problem does arise for either...



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