The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & Mark Twain's Social Commentary

758 Words Mar 22nd, 2006 4 Pages
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a book about a boy who travels down the river with a runaway slave. Twain uses these two characters to poke fun at society. They go through many trials, tribulations, and tests of their friendship and loyalty. Huck Finn, the protagonist, uses his instinct to get himself and his slave friend Jim through many a pickle. In the book, there are examples of civilized, primitive, and natural man.

Civilized man is shown in the book. The widows are a good example. They do everything proper and go to church regularly. They also try to civilize Huck, but he doesn't want any part of it. The widows treat their slaves well, showing class. The judge is also civilized. From the eyes of common decency, his decision
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There is also natural man in the book.

There are good examples of natural behavior in the book. Huck used instinct a lot. He almost turned Jim in because society told him runaway slaves are criminals, but his natural instinct saw Jim as a friend who needed help. Jim then did the same when he had a difficult choice to make. He could either book it to Cairo, or take Huck to a doctor. He too saw a friend in need and helped Huck out. Again, Twain uses satire to prove a point. In the beginning of the book, Huck Finn appears to be nothing more than a simple, uneducated boy who goes on crazy adventures. At the end of the book, however, you can see that he uses his natural instinct to help him out. Although society has told him that slaves are nothing more than objects, he comes to know and treat Jim as a friend and person. He had numerous opportunities to turn him in, but didn't. In contrast, the seemingly "civilized" people turn out to be the ones who let society tell them what's right and what's wrong, instead of going with their heart like Huck did.

In the book, civilized, primitive, and natural man are all on display. Mark Twain wanted to show all three of these personality types, because everyone can relate to all of them. When I first read the book, or some of the
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