In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain uses the main character, Huckleberry Finn, to point out some of the flaws that society and human nature contain. He does this by placing Huck in various settings and creating many moral dilemmas for Huck. Huck’s journey includes an abundance of morality pertaining decisions, subsequently it teaches him a lot about the society around him and even more about himself. The significance of Huck’s journey is to show us the ignorance in society and people’s constant desire of approval.In Huck’s hometown people aren’t very concerned for him, nor is he appreciated as a person. He is stereotyped as hoodlum by the majority of society and looked down upon, primarily by Miss Watson.
No one seems to look out for Huckleberry when his alcohol-driven, abusive father returns to St. Petersburg; as a result, Huck has to look out for himself and fakes his own death in order to escape from his drunken father Pap Finn. This is what starts Huck’s journey and soon after leaving he sees many people from town on a steamboat surveying if the cannons can bring Huck’s dead body to the surface of the Mississippi.
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These people on the steamboat were never very worried about Huck before, but now that he’s dead many crowed the edge of the steamboat, anxious to see if he can be found. These people are completely unaware of how ironic it is that they are titillated by the disappearance of someone they never respected nor cared about. Later in the novel, Huck meets the strange and, for a lack of a better word, oblivious Grangerford family. These people are in feud with another family in the town, The Sheperdons, and have been for a very long time. So long in fact that they have forgot the cause and the reason of the feud. This is ignorant of them and almost comical to us as a reader, but what’s even more ironic is that we have overlooked the whole meaning: The Grangerford and Sheperdons hate each other for the same reason that the majority of society is a racist, which is due to an uncontrollable and unchangeable trait. All of these people are an example of ignorance, the Sheperdons, Grangerfords, the people excited by Huck’s supposed death, and society as a whole.
We are so quick to stereotype as well as to follow what’s exciting and accepted by those around us. We often only consider the exterior of the situation and ignore what truly happening.Emotions also have a big part to play in Twain’s novel. We see a lot of instances where someone’s emotions have an effect on others actions or opinions. In the beginning of Huck’s adventure, whenever Jim gets excited over his freedom Huck would feel exceedingly guilty for being a part of Jim’s escape from slavery. Like when Jim shouts out “Dah’s Cairo” Huck says those words “went through him like a shot”.
People are vulnerable to emotions; we hear words but we see emotion and that’s what usually has the biggest effect on our judgment. When the king claims hes a reformed pirate who is now a “changed man” and starts crying, people begin to sympathize. He humbly asks for donations while tears run down his face and suddenly everyone is so charitable, as a result he takes home $87.
75 and a bottle of whiskey. If the “changed pirate” had not brought emotion into his speech, it’s easy to assume that he wouldn’t have received nearly as many donations. People naturally want to help others, which is good, but we can also over sympathize for those who bring excessive emotion into a situation, even if those people don’t truly need help. Being sympathetic isn’t a flaw by any means, but when we overlook the entire situation and use emotion as an excuse to be giving, its careless.