Huckleberry Finn

The story reminds us of the way things used to be, during the time of
racism in the United States when scenes of inequality based on racial
discrimination were common. This narrative features, a young boy named
Huck Finn. Huck Finn is about 13 to 14 years of age who finds having
some adventures as a youth breathtaking. He is a poor kid brought up by
an abusive and drunk dad. In his quest for a good life, Huck runs away
in such of freedom (Twain 12). In the world out there, he encounters
another run away who unlike him is not escaping a cruel dad, but a
system of a racially centered oppression. The two decides to run away
together to the mouth of the Ohio River, a place that Jim can escape to
a free state. There, he expects to earn money to buy his family back
that is held as slaves (Twain 18).
Segregation, expression of white supremacy, and racial discrimination is
felt across the board. Racism is an organized practice of refusing
people access to representation, rights, or resources centered on racial
deference’s (Wise 23). Jim felt the pinch of this discrimination under
the custody of Miss Watson and desired to be free. He meets Huck who is
brought up knowing that slaves should never be free. However, the
character of Huck refuses to see Jim from that perception. He chose to
stick together and protected him everywhere in their adventure.
The character of Huck Finn
Huck Finn is a fictionally created character, son of the town’s roving
drunkard, “Pap” Finn. Huck lives the life of a vagrant child,
napping on door steps when the weather is warm, in unoccupied hogsheads
during rainstorms, and existing of what he collects from others (Twain
23). The author figuratively terms him “pariah of the village” and
describes him as lawless, bad, vulgar, and idle. In his quest to have
freedom in life, Huck finds himself in a conflicting environment. He is
split between obeying his drunkard father or the religious widow. With
all this conflicts, Huck result to doing what he thinks is good (Twain
24).
The character of Huck is one riddled with emotional and psychological
neglect from his father. His father’s failure in Huck’s upbringing
is that consistent failure to respond to his needs on protection and
encouragement in life. His father Pap displays verbal assault, constant
battling. At times, he threatens him with extreme punishment (Twain 31).
He created a world of terror and neglect in Huck’s life that he could
not stay home anymore. At his young age, running away from home is fun
and adventurers. Most youngsters at this age develop that uncontrollable
urge of exploration, and given the fact that his father is
irresponsible, the ground is set for him (Feerick21).
Huck experienced an enormous deal of neglect from home just like many
children do as they grow up. His physical neglect involves his father
who does not provide him with the basic needs like clothing, shelter and
food. Failure or rejecting to afford a child with these basic needs
endangers the child’s bodily health, psychological growth, and
well-being (Feerick 24). Physical health that Huck experienced was
inadequate provision from his father, emotional needs, and failure to
provide for his safety. This physical neglect impacted the life of Huck
Finn in a number of ways. First, he was not able to get the education
that is so crucial in his life. He also lacked protection that he
engaged himself with illegal gangs to find solace and comfort. Huck is
also faced with developing a low self-esteem because of all these
neglect.
I find the character of Huck Finn to be most likeable because of the way
he handles these encounters. In those days, it was unheard off for a
white man to make an apology to a black man (Twain 57). There is a
section where Huck decides to apologize to Jim although he is a black
man. In this chapter, we see Huck in another cross road. He has been
nurtured knowing that he could not liberate slave. In this incidence, he
responds to his conscience and decides not to turn Jim to police. He
chose to stick around with Jim and protect him from police.
Despite these instances of deep personal examination, Huck grapples with
his own meaning of identity. Having been brought up without a mother,
and a drunkard father, Huck lacked positive social qualities that every
child should exhibit at his age. From the commencement of the book, he
fluctuates between his well-being living in the woods and his awareness
that, essentially, getting enlightened is not depraved. He lost any
attachment with his cruel father and resulted in making decisions on his
own without consulting anybody. In the process, he runs away from home
to an uncertain future, but he is extremely eager to explore life on his
own. For quite a while, he appears to meet his livelihood on the river
by faking to be someone else (Twain 53). This inclination made him a
person for telling lies.
The character of Jim
Jim is a fugitive slave who links up with Huck in his voyage down the
Mississippi river. He ran away when he heard the Widow’s plan to sell
him to a salve trader. Miss Watson was planning to trade him for a few
dollars to a slave dealer (Twain 23). He plans to escape to Ohio where
he can work for pay and buy his families freedom. Throughout the novel
Jim, is portrayed as trusting and simple to the point of being perceived
as gullible. His character is a product of discrimination that did not
allow him to get an education. The effects of racial discrimination in
Jim’s life were both educational and economic. In the woods, he finds
Huck whom he and everyone else thought was dead. The two share their
ordeal that led to their escape and are happy to have a companion (Twain
27). The two crafts a raft and rows down river Mississippi. Their aim is
to secure liberty for Jim and independence from Pap Finn for Huck. Their
adventure in their quest for freedom forms the bases of the novel.
Jim lives in time that racial discrimination is legitimate. His struggle
for survival in this society that does not recognize his right is
breathtaking. He finds himself in many occasions having to hide from
authorities and any suspicious person fearing to be taken back under
custody of someone else. Around the society, there is lacking the need
to love everybody the same and ignore the distinctions of race. It is
only Huck who seems to embrace him as a fellow human, though he knows
quite well that he is acting against the norm.
His life as a young boy portrays a deep desire the society has, to have
a society that is color blind (Appelt 45). A society in which, he can
get education, employment, and freedom of movement. He is living a life
of hiding himself from the public eye to maintain his freedom, although,
at times, he is caught and held as slave (Twain 46). As a young boy, he
carries with himself marks of racism, fear and uncertainty. However, he
gets relief at the end when he learns that Miss Watson had left a will
securing his freedom.
Works Cited
Appelt, Erna. Combating Racial Discrimination: Affirmative Action As a
Model for Europe. Oxford [u.a.: Berg, 2000. Print.
Feerick, Margaret M. Child Abuse and Neglect: Definitions,
Classifications, and a Framework for Research. Baltimore: Paul H.
Brookes Pub. Co, 2006. Print.
Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Dover
Publications, 1994. Print.
Wise, Tim J. Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the
Retreat from Racial Equity. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2010.
Internet resource.
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