Hell Rather than Heaven

Essay by ferrarifan2425High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2007

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Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is one of the greatest American novels ever written. The story is about Huck, a young boy who is coming of age and is escaping from his drunken father. Along the way he stumbles across Miss Watson’s slave, Jim, who has run away because he overhead that he would be sold. Throughout the story, Huck is faced with the moral dilemma of whether or not to turn Jim in. Mark Twain has purposely placed these two polar opposites together in order to make a satire of the society’s institution of slavery. Along the journey, Twain implies his values through Huck on slavery, the two-facedness of society, and represents ideas with the Mississippi River.

In his own words, Mark Twain stated, “a book of mine where a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision. And the conscience suffer defeat!” Huck has both a “sound heart” and a “deformed conscience,” and the heart overcomes his conscience.

His sound heart can be seen when he returns to Jackson Island after disguising himself as a girl. Huck rushes to Jim and says, “Git up and hump yourself, Jim! There ain’t a minute to lose. They’re after us!” (62). The townspeople are really looking for Jim, but Huck tells Jim that they are after “us.” Huck views himself and Jim as equals. With his powerful heart, Huckleberry acts on his feelings and against what society has taught him. His conscience has been deformed because he had not received a mainstream childhood. The blending of contrasting beliefs and desire to live free have deformed his conscience. Twain wants to show that Huck can make the right decisions and defy justice. His mother had died, his dad was a drunk, and he was forced to live with...