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Huck Finn's Journey to Adolescence

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1536 words Published: 4th Sep 2017

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Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of Catcher in the Rye, takes a journey into maturity in order to form into an adult from an adolescent. Holden struggles to find the maturity and responsibility for manhood, struggling from hypocrisy and misunderstanding. In order for him to reach that sense of sophistication, Holden has to complete his journey with reversing his sense of thinking and his acknowledgement of his superiority toward the environment around him. He eventually figures out his faker views and attempts to change from his experience with others. He eventually fails to change from his past view on hypocrisy from others and himself, seeking professional help at the end, [an assistance that helps fix his hypocrisy issues–AM]. On the contrary to Holden Caulfield, Huck evolves his adolescence by learning from his experiences on others and using his moral conscience to find what is right to him. Huck, still on a mission to adolescence to adulthood, fixes his teachings from others to form his personal thoughts and expanding on his experiences from the past involving family and views on slavery. In Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck’s adventures on land and his evolving relationship with Jim depicts the importance of heating his experiences together during his adolescence.

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The Widow and Pap relations with Huck on land teach him about the importance of freedom and of one’s desires. The Widow taking Huck in, “couldn’t stand it no longer he lit out”, not enjoying the stay with Miss Watson and the Widow therefore, he follows what others want, and what others want him to do is stay with the widow and doesn’t stay because he wants to. Huck, not being deprived of his complete freedom, doesn’t want to be with the Widow reflecting some case of imprisonment in his early life . The widow also forces Huck to do activities that he doesn’t really want to do. Huck is made to learn bible stories which he thinks is futile because” [he] don’t take no stock in dead people” (2), and even to go to school, even though “[he] don’t take no stoke in mathematics” (15). [Captured in a psychological imprisonment–PaPP], the widow persuades Huck to complete and learn the tasks that she feels are necessary for him like bible stories and math. Tom contributes to this mental imprisonment as well when Tom Sawyer gang is founded. Huck, born an orphan, requires a type of sacrifice for the oath Tom Sawyer’s gang has if someone was to go against their back against the gang and betray them;however, Huck has no one except the Widow in which he is essentially constricted to for the gang, Tom says “every boy must have a family or somebody to kill, or else it wouldn’t be fair and square for the others” (8). [Losing his freedom progressively–PrPP], Huck cannot leave the Widow and Miss Watson as he has to stay with them being something he doesn’t prefer, teaching him the importance of decision making on his own. Later, [when Pap physically imprisons Huck-AdjSC], Huck transitions from one with lack of freedom psychologically to both being imprisoned physically and psychologically. Pap locking Huck in the cabin, strips Huck of his rights while at the same time teaching him a lesson on how important freedom is.  Pap goes to “lock the door and keep the key under his pillow” to prevent an attempted escape from Huck when he is sleeping, still trapping him. This trap contains Huck’s want for freedom, [a freedom of being freed physically- RWM]. Huck’s experiences with Pap and the Widow makes Huck urn for personal freedom that he wasn’t entitled to as a child.

Huck’s experience with the Wilks teaches him about the honesty and trust in strong relationships to be supported. Urning to be more friendly towards Mary Jane, Huck notifies her about the scheme between the King and Duke. Huck believes that him telling her improves his relations with her even though he “ever seen her since she walked out that door (191). Later on however, Huck follows up with proof that exhibits the strength of his bond with Mary Jane saying that he “thought of her a many and a many a million times” (191), explaining how relationships can be formed from honesty and trust. The connection with Mary Jane being based on honesty prevents him from being untruthful and lying instinctively towards others, an example being the statement from Levi Bell. Huck also learns another lesson from the Wilks; he learns the connections that Slave Owners can also portray sad emotional feelings toward their Slaves. The day after the funeral, the “king sold the niggers (182)” as property without the sisters being notified about the situation and the selling came as a surprise. [Mary Jane crying–AbP], she learns that her slaves are being sold thus separating their families apart from one another. This is a metanoia towards Huck as he has never seen anyone else be concerned with another slave’s life and emotions, allowing him to connect to Jim even more. He now knows that he is not the only person breaking the social norm of bridging the race gap by showing compassion to someone that isn’t white.

Huck’s decision to not turn in Jim is influenced by his experience with the Widow and Pap and how he lost some of his freedom evolving his relationship with Jim. Huck knows that Jim yearns for the same freedom that he was not able to have, helping Jim out from his experiences. Even though Huck wouldn’t turn Jim in due to him saying that “he said he wouldn’t, and he’ll stick to it(43)”,  he had another reason to not turn Jim in besides his thoughts; he was influenced by his involvement with Pap and the widow. He understood that Jim had his rights and freedom restrained like he did and wanted him to experience something different than the restriction his parents gave him during his childhood. Continuing to help Jim instinctively while facing troubles, his late internal conflicts exemplify the knowledge he has of the sin he has commited by helping Jim. However; Huck was still searching for freedom after achieving it from escaping and can relate to Jim’s search for freedom. His experiences compunction about helping Jim resurfaces when he remembers about widow and Pap. Remembering what the Widow and Miss Watson have taught Huck, he feels guilty helping  Jim , but still decides to assist him even knowing he will be “going to hell(214).” [He would rather go to hell for his actions, than tell the truth to Miss Watson–// Structure], protecting Jim from being enslaved again. From his moral dilemma with himself, Huck feels guilty only after remembering what Miss Watson has done for him and what he has done to pay her back. He fights the urge to tell Miss Watson about Jim, with both of them seeking a greater freedom in their life. Huck, influenced by his memory and experiences with Pap and Widow, displays his ability to learn from experience during his adolescence. Huck also reflects what he saw with Wilks family. He now establishes and acknowledges that relationships should be built off of trust. Huck then connects his relationship with Jim towards these ideas and Mary Jane’s view of slaves. He realizes that he would be breaking the trust and friendship he established with Jim as he is Jim’s “old friend in the world. And the only one he’s got now (214)” Huck cannot deal with breaking Jim’s trust and contemplates the dilemma and feud toward blacks and whites. He is also aware that he shouldn’t break away Jim’s feelings with him, like how the slaves from the Wilks felt and that they shouldn’t be separated from each other. Huck understands that feuds are breakable and attempts to bridge the gap between the races which he would have never thought of doing before his experiences.

Huck coalesces his experiences together from land and on the raft with Jim to develop his sense of moral conscience. Through this development from experiences, Huck can be compared to any child that goes through different experiences and guidance to form who they are, they just each have a different story. These experiences can be a developing factor that formulates the  concepts and the type of person someone is. In society, many children use their experiences in school and parental guidance to form whom they will become. With their experience in school and parental guidance, they use this criterion to find out their attitude and their formation as a person and can radically change their ideas and motives. Without these understandings, children are in a sense of free world in where they have to develop themselves without guidelines but still form into who they are.

Works Cited

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Bantum, 1981. Print.


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