Growth And Development Of Huckleberry Finn

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade January 2002

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a coming-of-age novel about an adolescent boy named Huckleberry Finn. In the novel Huckleberry learns many of life's lessons, helping him grow and mature. In the beginning of the novel, Huck fakes his own death in order to escape his abusive and alcoholic father. Pap, as Huck calls him, had kidnapped Huck from his caretaker the Widow Douglas, who tried to "sivilize" him. Through his elaborately staged death, Huck floats down the Mississippi River on an abandoned canoe he found near the shore. Stopping on Jackson Island, he comes across a runaway slave named Jim. Jim, like Huckleberry had escaped for his own freedom. Huck wanted freedom from society, and Jim wanted freedom from his owner Miss Watson. Throughout the novel, Huck Finn becomes more self-reliant and mature, he begins to understand the evil in slavery, and he realizes that he must follow his own conscience.

From the very beginning of the novel, Huck without a doubt stated that he did not want to conform to society, "The Widow Douglas took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me. I got into my old rags and my sugar hogshead again, and was free and satisfied," (Twain 2). Through this quote Huck shows his desire to be free and live the way he pleases. Miss Watson lives with Huck and the Widow Douglas, and she is always picking at him, trying to make him become conventional. "'Don't put your feet up there, Huckleberry'; and 'Don't scrunch up like that, Huckleberry-set up straight'; and pretty soon she would say, 'Don't gap and stretch like that, Huckleberry-why don't you try to behave?'" (Twain 2). This quote gives the reader the feeling that Huck tries to do things he knows will annoy Miss...