4. In Mark Twains The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn it is clear as to how the characters have been influenced by their environments. The narrative is set during a clip where bondage and racism are held as socially acceptable and justified by faith in some instances ; this is seen legion times throughout the novel. Although the two major characters Huck and Jim have come from and lived in the same environments, the fortunes of their lives are uncomparable. Society has conditioned Huck to accept bondage and racialist attitudes. Slavery has resulted in Jim ‘s attempts to seek his freedom, but besides his deficiency of instruction and to some degree his superstitious notion. Couple uses the environment environing Huck and Jim non merely to portray how it impacts their actions and beliefs, but besides to do a statement about the lip service, immortality, and unfairness found in civilised society at this clip.
At the clip period this novel is set in, bondage is an mundane portion of life. As a reader, we see Huck invariably trying to decide the struggle within himself as he struggles between the dogmas of the South and his ain consciousness and morality. Huck ‘s position about the establishment of bondage is the result of what society has ingrained within him, he was born into it. Huck blindly accepts the societal and spiritual values that the Widow and Miss Watson insist he uphold until his ain witting interferes with what he has been taught. Whenever Huck can non follow societal regulations, he blames it on himself and fails to see any mistake in the regulations. He sees his male parent ‘s bibulous harangue in chapter 6, “ … but when they told me there was a State in this state where
they ‘d allow that nigger ballot, I drawed out. I says I ‘ll ne’er vote once more… I says to the people, why ai n’t this nigga put up at auction and sold? – that ‘s what I want to cognize ” ( Twain 117 ) . Huck hears his male parent ‘s words but does non denounce him because in his universe this position is the norm. Huck is an perceiver and he gives realistic word pictures of what he sees and Twain uses his narrative to exemplify the ailments of society.
There are many times in the novel where Huck sees Jim more as a slave, a mere piece of belongings instead than a individual. In chapter 16, Huck begins to panic when he realizes the determination he has made to assist Jim towards freedom, “ … it made me all over trembly and hectic, excessively, to hear him, because I begun to acquire it through my caput that he was most free- and who was to fault for it? ” ( 162 ) . Because he believes the values of society are just and merely, Huck feels that he is an confederate for the offense of non turning in Jim back to Miss Watson when he had the opportunity. He goes on to state, “ I got so average and so suffering I most wished I was dead ” ( 162 ) . In chapter 23, we see Huck ‘s attitude toward Jim Begin to alter, “ He was believing about his married woman and kids, off up yonder, and he was low and homesick ; and I do believe he cared merely every bit much for his people as white folks does for their’n. It do n’t look natural… He was a mighty good nigga, Jim was ” ( 204 ) . Huck is able to project aside the racialist values which he has grown up with. Here we see him believing for himself. What Huck sees as natural is that slaves do non care for and love their households the same manner as Whites do, but his sentiment is changed when he sees Jim. It is obvious that Huck has non associated with anyone who was non white and it is possible that he sees Jim as person who is rareness among African Americans due to the fact that he loves his household. As the novel progresses, Huck becomes more and more detached from society but non wholly. He and Jim sail down the Mississippi, making a universe of their ain and it is through these experiences that Huck ‘s friendly relationship with Jim grows and where the influences of the exterior
universe are repressed to a certain extent. The best illustration of this is when Huck decides to compose the missive to Miss Watson stating her where Jim is, nevertheless his internal struggles are clearly seeable as he debates with himself whether or non he should make this. Before he precedes to compose the missive Huck says “ And at last, when it hit me all of a sudden that here was the apparent manus of Providence slapping me in the face and allowing me know that my evil was being watched all the clip from up at that place in Eden, whilst I was stealing a hapless old adult female ‘s nigga that had n’t of all time done me no injury… ” ( 238 ) . Huck still can non look to get away the impression that because Jim is a runaway slave helping in his attempts to get away is a wickedness. Although Huck can do his ain determinations, society ‘s rules still influence him greatly and after he writes the missive he even goes on to province that it was the first clip in his life he felt wholly “ clean of wickedness ” ( 239 ) . Religion is something that Huck does non clearly understand so his fright of the possible spiritual effects such as snake pits take precedency over his ain morality. However, instantly after composing the missive, Huck begins to believe about Jim and all the good he has done for him and makes a important determination, “ All right, so, I ‘ll travel to hell- and tore it up. It was atrocious ideas, and atrocious words, but they was said ” ( 239 ) . At this point we see that Huck denounces himself for his actions, but by making this he has in a manner rejected what society has instilled in him and established himself as an improbable hero. So as Huck ‘s universe alterations from civilized society to life on the Mississippi, from the influence of society at big to the influence of Jim, we can see how Huck besides changes. The Widow and Miss Watson introduced in chapter 1 can be seen as a representation of Southern society. They attempt to educate Huck, but he merely feels constrained by the regulations and ordinances they impose on him. Society besides fails to protect Huck from his opprobrious male parent as he is forced to travel unrecorded with Pap. All of these experiences contribute to Huck ‘s withdrawal from society and consequence in his disbelieving attitude of the universe.
The idea of being sold down South and separated from his household prompts Jim to run off. Bing a slave, Jim is uneducated. For illustration when Huck is explicating to him that Frenchmen talk French he can non look to hold on the construct. In many ways he is like a kid. Jim has besides accepted the positions of his racialist milieus. He is convinced that the inequality and biass inkinesss face are rooted in truth. In chapter 36 it is clear that Tom is utilizing Jim to populate out his imaginativeness, “ And told him how to maintain a diary… He told him everything. Jim, he could n’t see no sense in most of it, but he allowed we was white common people and knowed better than him ; so he was satisfied. Despite the manner Jim is being treated, in Jim ‘s head Huck and Tom are white so they must be right. Here, Jim is inactive and self-satisfied which merely emphasizes the subject of bondage in the novel.
Couple uses the universe of the characters and how it influences them to supply a societal commentary on his pessimistic positions of humanity. The fresh exposes the jobs he saw in society including the immorality of bondage, spiritual lip service, and the weaknesss of society in general. Jim is treated cruelly by every character throughout the narrative. It is through Huck that bondage is presented as we see him fight between what is jurisprudence in society and what is morally right. The spiritual lip service is abundant from Miss Watson to the Phelps ‘s who have no concern over the establishment of bondage, yet claim to be good citizens. Twain makes it clear as to how racism can misinterpret the beliefs of those who impose bondage and the victims of it. When Huck is handed over to his male parent, this can be seen as Twain ‘s manner to notice on a society that gives whites the right to have other human existences which are considered belongings. A society that claims to be morally merely and civilized can non warrant bondage.