Huckleberry Finn Ending Analysis

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain has been faced with a great deal of controversy when talking about the ending of the novel. Most critics see the ending to be a failure, while others see that the ending is the perfect way to end the story. The ending of the novel seems to have a change in tone from a serious one to something more comedic. The tone seems to change once Tom is introduced to the story. This comedic tone is shown in both the beginning and the ending of the novel with both parts having Tom being included in the adventure. The most obvious reasons why the ending is a failure is with the way Twain frees Jim and with the introduction of Tom. The novel overall is a great piece of literature but is upsetting when it comes…show more content…
Eliot, Mr. Trilling, and Huckleberry Finn.” In this article, Marx speaks about how the ending of the novel makes the readers feel uneasy, he criticizes the way Jim was freed from slavery, and the way Huck loses all sense of maturity and independence with the introduction of Tom in the story. Marx writes, “To take seriously what happens at the Phelps farm is to take lightly the entire downstream journey” (291). The journey on the raft was one that was serious and not that comedic but once Tom was reintroduced into the story the tone returned to something more cheerful and humorous that can be found at the beginning of the story. Marx also talks about the way Twain freed Jim at the end of the story. “In the end we not only discover…freedom has been granted by old Miss Watson” (292). Miss Watson was willing to sell Jim to a slave owner that offered eight hundred dollars for him because of her greed she was willing to separate a father with his family. She is meant to be a good Christian woman but she doesn’t see the hypocrisy of owning another human being. Alongside these two points, Marx also points out that Huck loses all sense of maturity and independence once Tom shows up. “But at this point Tom reappears…Jim’s capture the occasion for a game” (295). All the moral changes that Huck went through on the raft were quickly lost with the reintroduction of Tom. Tom manages to convince Huck to go on this wild scheme to free Jim.…show more content…
Jim’s freedom was a game to Tom and this can be seen when Aunt Sally asks Tom why he wanted to help free Jim. “Well, that is a question…goodness alive” (260). Tom and Huck have two different opinions on Jim. Tom doesn’t have a relationship with Jim making it easy for him to do more risky things because he doesn’t care for Jim health and all he cares about is the adventure. As for Huck, Huck has built a relationship with Jim and his goal is to help Jim achieve his freedom. Lester writes, “Jim is a play-thing…or a torchlight parade” (367). To Tom, the thrill of an adventure is more important than to help Jim escape from slavery. He uses this opportunity to convince Huck to play into this unnecessary adventure and Huck not being able to stand up to Tom does whatever he’s told. Lester also talks about how Miss Watson freed Jim in her will even though he was accused of killing a white boy. “Huck, having manufactured…suspect of murdering a white child” (367). There may be a chance that Miss Watson forgot about Jim being accused of killing Huck, but in reality, Jim would have been hunted down and captured if they suspected him of killing a white boy. Lester says that
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