Huck Finn

January 16, 2011
By , oak park, IL
In the book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain shows the readers how cruel humans can be to each other and the changes society needs to undergo. Huck, the main character, lost his mom and his father is an abusive alcoholic. He struggles with abuse and outrageous behavior that a young boy should not have to go through, especially from his father. In addition to his abusive father, the book gives multiple examples of how African Americans are viewed as property, not as people. At the beginning of the book we meet a slave named Jim, who illustrates the brutal treatment demonstrated by the people throughout the town. Another main cruelty this book shows is how the kids are deprived of their childhood. They are influenced by horrible ideas and forced to believe what the society believes, not have ideas of their own.

Huck’s father showed a great amount of cruelty towards him. Huck went through a very hard childhood, dealing with the death of his mother and the abusiveness of his father. His father only wants him because Huck had gotten a great sum of money. Huck had been in foster care with Ms. Watson, and his dad only came back to him to get the money he found in his previous adventure. Later, the two of them live in a cabin where his father gets drunk everyday and abuses Huck for no reason. “But by-and-by Pap got too handy with his hick’ry and I couldn’t stand it. I was all over welts.” Huck said this before running away, it encouraged him to run away because he knew this abuse would only continue. In addition to the abusiveness, Huck wasn’t aloud to learn and get an education. If he was caught learning, he would be beat. “You lemme catch you fooling around that school again, you hear?...”Other than the battery Huck was faced with, deprevision of an education, and forced to live with his father, his father is taking Huck’s $6000. “I heard about it away down the river, too. That’s why I come. You git me that money tomorrow-I want it.” The cruelty that Huck’s father showed towards Huck demonstrated the inhumanity people were receiving throughout the book.

People of color have had many cruel altercations with white people. In the Declaration of Independence, it clearly states that all men are created equal. Nowhere in all of the constitution is there a written acception for people of color. This time period was very racist and treated African Americans as only property. They didn’t treat them like human beings at all. They are viewed as someone’s not as their own person. “Miss Watson’s big nigger, named Jim, was setting in the kitchen door…” This shows how African Americans were viewed as. How little respect they get, and what people see by them. When African Americans were declared legal to vote, people were outraged. They felt that that wasn’t right and shouldn’t be aloud. “Oh, yes, this is a wonderful government, wonderful. Why looky here. There was a free nigger there, from Ohio; a mulatter, most as white as a white man. He had the whitest shirt on you ever see, too, and the shiniest hat; and there ain’t a man in that town that’s got as fine clothes as what he had; and he had a gold watch and chain, and a silver-headed cane-the awfulest old gray-headed nabob in the state…And that ain’t the wust. They said he could vote, when he was home. Well, that let me out. Thinks I, what is this country a-coming to? It was ‘lection day, and I was just about to go and vote, myself, if I warn’t too drunk to get there; but when they told there was a State in the country where they’d let a nigger vote, I drawed out. I says ill never vote again….I says to people, why ain’t this nigger put up at auction and sold?...Here’s a govment that calls itself a govment, and lets on to be a govment, and thinks it’s a govment, and yet’s got to set stock still for six whole months before it can take ahold of a prowling, thieving, infernal, white-shirted free nigger.” This quote displays the absolute cruelty and brutality to African Americas. The white people are so against letting African Americans be free that their willing to deprive themselves of certain things because someone of another decent is doing the same thing. In addition to being treated horribly, African American slaves weren’t aloud to have money. If they were caught with money, the money would be taken and they’d be severely punished. The oppression African Americans were living through shows the true meaning of how cruel people were to each other.

Another cruelty that this book demonstrates is that the children are being deprived of their childhood that impacts how they will act for the rest of their lives. The slave children have had their whole childhood taken from them. They are oppressed and have no freedom to be a kid. Even though white kids aren’t being discriminated against they are still being deprived because they aren’t able to have their own views. The way society is set up they can’t believe things on their own. They have to have the views of everyone else in the community because they will get in trouble if they believe otherwise. They don’t even know the facts, they don’t know what really is going on, all they know is that they should have this unidentified hatred towards people who are different from themselves. Even though they don’t understand why they are hating these people who are the same as them just another color, they are having a brutal hatred towards these people. The whole society is contributing this because they are all encouraging it and putting these ideas in the kid’s heads. Its depriving their childhood because they have to have this cruel side to them that they don’t understand at all. The hatred they have is unexplained. They aren’t able to make those decisions. If they see an African American their age, who is practically the same as them, they need to be mean to them and not be with them. Huck was one of the very few exceptions who ignored this “rule” and treated people of color no differently then someone like him. Throughout the book he realizes how much Jim is alike him and the brotherhood they share. He defies the stereotypes of a white boy hated a slave and becomes almost a son towards Jim. The true point of when he turns around is when he’s writing to Ms. Watson saying how he knows where Jim is. After thinking about it, he realizes that he’d rather go to hell then turn in his friends. He now knows that the reason people hate African Americans is not a real reason and they don’t have any reason to. This cruelty that society has put on the kids is now being broken by one boy who decides to help a runaway slave become free.

In conclusion, Mark Twain demonstrates the issues of society in that time period and how people were standing up to the law. He creates the character of Huck to share his views with us and give us an idea of what he thinks is right and wrong. He becomes an outsider while sharing instead of the same views as everyone else, different views that can get him in trouble not only with the law but with the citizens. The novel shows how cruel humans are to each other and the things they do and say to make some people’s lives miserable. The cruelty of Pap towards his innocent son, the inhumanity towards African Americans, and the deprivation of the kids in that society shows how cruel humans can be to each other.





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