Huck Finn

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2002

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This is the first novel that I have read by Mark Twain and I found The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is not only interesting and fun to read, but it introduced me to a time in American history that I was not familiar with. Reading this book made me think about the struggles that slaved faced and the morality of that way of life. I believe this was also a book about friendship, following your own conscience, and a young man paving his own road in life.

As the story progressed many questions and thoughts ran through my mind. I truly wished that Jim and Huck would find a way to solve their life's problems and eventually be able to lead normal lives. Jim's problems were the fact that he was a slave and therefore separated from his family. As it turns out, in the end, Jim has been freed by the will of his owner.

Jim and Huck find this out only after much effort and many adventures on the way to helping Jim escape. At the end of the story, Jim has a chance at being reunited with his family. Huck's biggest problem in his life so far has been his drunken father. My wish for Huck to have a normal life could also come true. His father is killed. When Jim and Huck are attempting to escape down the Mississipi River, the river floods and they enter a house that is floating down the river to gather supplies that they might be able to use. There is a dead man in the house. He has been shot in the head. Jim does not allow Huck to get near the body because he realizes it is Huck's pap and doesn't want Huck to see him and be upset. Jim finally tells Huck at the end of the book. Huck no longer has to worry about his father finding him, beating him, and stealing his money. Huck can reclaim his money and continue on with a normal life.

One of the realizations that I have come to is that Huck and Jim were both being held in their own kind of slavery. Because Jim was a black slave, he was at the mercy of his white owners and could be beaten and killed at any time. Although Huck did not see himself as a slave he was at the mercy of his drunken father. Huck lived in fear of his father. While he was living with his pap he was beaten regularly without warning. When he was away from his pap, Huck knew that his father might return at any time and no one could help him.

As the story continued and Huck escaped from his father and tried to make it look like he was dead, I wondered how and why so many people seemed to miss him. There seemed to be so much concern and so many people searching for a boy who was hated by his father, and a boy that people seemed to know so little about. What was so special about Huck Finn? As I got to know Huck through reading this book, I realized that he really was a special person.

As I continued to read, I began to see that slaves were not considered to be human and their lives meant nothing to white people. In the beginning Huck and Jim seemed to be separated as black and white. I saw a friendship develop between the two of them and they eventually realized that they were equal. For example, Jim dares to tell Huck he is trash for playing a joke on him. In this time of history if black person dared to talk to a white person in this way, he could probably be hanged.

I believe Huck's true home is on the river. Throughout the book Huck describes the river as a beautiful safe haven. The river has been his salvation and maybe the only thing that he really loves.

Huck seems to think very little of himself and seems to have a very low self esteem. I feel that deep down inside Huck is a good person with high morals. He can not make himself lie to his father about the money he has so he gets rid of it because he knows his father will ask him about it. When he does lie, steal, or tell stories it is usually in order to survive and escape which is what he thinks he has to do. He also cares about people and proves this by sending help to the stranded thieves on the disabled steam boat, the Sir Walter Scott. When Huck does this he believes the Widow Douglas would have done the same because she is a christian person. Also, instead of turning Jim in as a runaway slave like society at that times teaches as the right thing to do, Huck follows his conscience and keeps his word to Jim.

My hope for Huck is that at some point in his life he will realize that he is morally good and a very smart person. Huck truly believes that everyone he encounters is smarter and better than he .

So far in his young life he has helped to save and free a slave, rescued thieves, and planned a detailed escape for himself. When he finally does recognize his talents he will probably accomplish a lot more. I have decided that as Huck grows older her will see himself as I see him and will lead a very productive and worthwhile life.

This book has been an enjoyable adventure. I can believe that my wish for a happy ending came true. The two main characters seem to have gotten what they were striving for. I have written about what I felt, hoped, saw, realized, wished, and wondered about while reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, now I can only imagine what the rest of Huck's life will be like. I will imagine that his life will be filled with more adventures and successes.