Twain's Huck Finn's Conflict with Society

Essay by A. PolinskyHigh School, 11th gradeA-, February 1996

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Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1883. The novel deals with many problems of society. Huck Finn 'can't stand' hypocrisy, greed and 'sivilz'ation, qualities that are still present today.

One trait shown in Huck Finn is hypocrisy. In Twain's other novels, as well as Huck Finn, Twain is very critical of the hypocrisy of organized religion. Early in Huck Finn, Huck is confronted with two different versions of heaven. Miss Watson's view of heaven is not appealing to Huck. In her heaven, all that one does is sing and play the harp. Huck does not like Widow Douglas' much either, but it is better than Miss Watson's. Huck would rather be free to do as he pleases. Slavery is also hypocritical with Christianity. Slave owners would make slaves believe that God loves all people, which is contrary to the belief that slaves are inferior. The southern view of gentlemen is also hypocritical.

These 'gentlemen' are supposed to be noble, yet they own slaves and kill each other. They take part in feuds, even when they cannot remember the cause. They kill each other in duels for no reason, but say that it was in the name of honor. All of this hypocrisy makes Huck want to rebel against this society.

Hypocrisy is still present in society today. There are many reported cases of clergy having affairs or molesting children. For instance, Reverend Baker has had relationships with prostitutes. He always apologizes, but then he does it again. One of the precepts of the Catholic religion is to follow the instructions of the Pope. Many Catholics however, do not follow the Pope's instructions on birth control or abortion. Government officials are also hypocritical. They preach family values, yet often they do not follow these values. Senator Packwood resigned...