Huckleberry Finn- Character differences

Essay by Kinkyblue4High School, 10th gradeA+, March 2003

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered the greatest American novel ever written. This feat was achieved by depicting real life situations as well as characters, to get the reader emotionally involved with the novel. Mark Twain's characters are realistic, and, as a result, the reader instantly becomes interested. Twain represents many things through his three major characters, Tom, Huck, and Jim: morality, maturity, and friendship.

Tom is considered the most "noble" of these three characters, as he is the most educated, wealthy, and well mannered. He may have been brought up "properly" but he also does not think of anyone but himself. Tom is the cruelest character in this novel because he will do anything for the sake of the adventure and at anyone's expense. Because he has to do everything "by the book" and use his imagination conjuring up all kinds of outlandish escape contrivances, Tom aggravates the reader.

Tom plays with Jim's life for the sake of the adventure; he never sees that his antics hurt people.

Although Huck is a young boy he has been forced to deal with many problems that adults face, such as helping Jim escape. We know he feels responsible for Jim because when he learns from a woman that Jim is being hunted for Huck's murder, he runs to tell Jim, exclaiming, "they're after us" and not "they're after you." This lets the reader know Huck and Jim are in this adventure together. Huck does deal with these problems and he does this maturely because he has integrity. He may not have had the best home life, but he knows the difference between right and wrong. In this way Huck surpasses Tom in morality although Huck is considered a "river rat." He also overcomes the horror of racism by looking past...