Huck's Conflicted Character in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Huck's Conflicted Character in Twain’s Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn The first eleven chapters of Adventures establish Huck's character prior to his journey on the river with Jim. Dealing with external difficulty is easy for Huck, as he consistently adapts to his environments; however, his actions contradict his desires, revealing that Huck is conflicted. Initially, religion is appealing to Huck when the Widow Douglas tries teaching him: "After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers; and I was in a sweat to find out all about him" (220). Salvation seems possible to Huck, but he prefers to go to the "bad place" instead of spending eternity with Miss Watson (221); also, he abandons the concept of…show more content…
He accepts Tom's insistence of the "Spaniards," "A-rabs," "camels," and "elephants" presence at the Sunday school (227), but silently disagrees: "I judged that all that stuff was only just one of Tom Sawyer's lies" (228). Huck's passivity towards Tom is likely a result of the companionship Tom offers. Huck reports "I felt so lonesome I most wished I was dead" (221) just prior to going out at night with Tom and going along with his fantasy-derived descriptions and rules for the gang (222-5). Ultimately, Tom's company is more important to Huck than honesty. Though not technically an orphan, Huck seems to wish he were, as he provides insight to his indifference towards his father: "Pap hadn't been seen for more than a year, and that was comfortable for me; I didn't want to see him no more" (226). Upon returning, Pap inflicts such physical and mental abuse on Huck, including captivating him, that Huck resolves to not only flee the situation, but also kill his father, after being threatened with a knife. "I slipped the ramrod down it to make sure [the gun] was loaded, and then I laid it across the turnip barrel, pointing towards pap, and set down behind it to wait for him to stir" (237). Huck clearly resents the man enough to want to kill him, yet can not do so: though Twain employs weariness as the preventive factor, Huck's inaction despite his desire epitomizes his conflicted nature. Later, Huck's inaction illustrates the boy's complicated moral structure. After
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