Vincent Van Gogh once said that, "one may have a blazing hearth in ones' soul, and yet no one ever comes to sit by it." This quote is a perfect description of Huck the main character in Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Huck, a complex and intelligent character but, due to his wild upbringing he is seen as white trash that must be "sivilized" by those who surround him (Widow Douglass and Aunt Sally).Unfortunately, he is shunned by society (a world that does not bother to see that he is good) which results in his loneliness. This description of Huck ties into the quote which is saying that although a person (in this case Huck) may truly be good at heart but that there may be someone (society) who does not see this goodness and hence, rejects that person. In his loneliness Huck reaches out to a friend whom he can relate to which is typical for most human beings.
However, Huck connects with Jim, a runaway slave, such a relationship is seen as immoral by those who surround him. Therefore Huck must choose between what society thinks and his feelings for Jim. This point is reiterated by British novelist Laurence Stern who wrote, "No body ,but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man's mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling a contrary direction at the same time." To clearly understand Huck one must understand the ramifications of the conflict he faces between his friendship with Jim and society. Then, after the conflict has been identified it will be easier to see as to how an action seen as vile by the public is actually the act of a humanist.
According to 19th century Americans,