Feb 26, 2018 934 Words  Pages

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, Huck’s journey down the river with Jim helps to develop the idea of how society can affect how a person think and act a certain way. The development of an abnormal relationship between Huck, a white boy, and Jim, a slave, can be seen throughout the journey. The idea of mob mentality presented in several situations that Huck encountered on his journey further contributes to the theme. Also, the struggle between doing something that’s right versus doing something morally correct can be impacted by society as seen through Huck.
First, during the journey down the river, Huck and Jim develop a friendship that wouldn’t be considered normal in the rest of the society. Jim, as a slave, and Huck, as white boy, show that they can do certain things that would be considered wrong in society due to the idea of racism. An example of this is when Huck states, “ we was always naked, day and night, whenever the mosquitoes would let us-the new clothes Buck’s folks made for me was too good to be comfortable, and beside I didn’t go much on clothes, nohow” ( Twain 120). Jim has shown that he can have emotions, such as love, just like everyone else. An example of this is when Huck found the raft after getting lost in the fog and Jim states, “ When I got all wore out wid work, en wid de callin’ for you, en went to sleep, my heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’, en I didn' k’yer no’ mo’ what become er me en de raf. En when I wake up en fine you back ag’in, all safe en soun’, de tears come, en I could ‘a’ got down on my knees en kiss yo’ foot, I’s so thankful” ( Twain 91). Also, Jim has shown that he can be a fatherly figure towards Huck. This can be seen when Huck states, “ I went to sleep, and Jim didn’t call me when it was my turn. He often done that. When I waked up just at daybreak he was sitting there with his head down betwixt his knees, moaning and mourning to himself… and I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for their’n. It don’t seem natural, but I reckon” ( Twain 152).
In addition, the idea of mob mentality encountered by Huck in several situations contributes to the theme. When with a large crowd of people, individuals tend to go with the rest of the crowd rather than to think for themselves. An example of this is when Sherburn says, “ The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is-a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it is beneath pitifulness” ( Twain 144). People are gullible and tend to believe anything as long as it goes with what they think is right. An example of this is when the dauphin pretends to be a reformed pirate and ask the crowd for the money and Huck states, “ Then somebody sings out, ‘ Take up a collection for him, take up a collection!’ Well, a half a dozen made a jump to do it, but somebody sings out, ‘ Let him pass the hat around!’ Then everybody said it, the preacher too” ( Twain 132). Also, the crowd were hypocritical in their belief. This can be seen when the crowd wants to kill Sherburn for killing a drunk man but also enjoy the suffering of the drunken man at the circus. An example of this is when Huck says, “ the drunk men hanging on to his neck, and his heels flying in the air every jump, and the whole crowd of people standing up shouting and laughing till tears rolled down” ( Twain 146).
Lastly, Huck’s struggle between doing what’s considered right in society and doing what’s morally correct can be influence by society. Huck thinks that freeing Jim is a bad thing because that’s what the rest of society thinks. An example of this is when he states, “ Jim said it made him all over trembly and feverish to be so close to freedom. Well, I can tell you it made me all over trembly and feverish, too, to hear him, because I begun to get it through my head that he was almost free-and who was to blame for it? Why, me” ( Twain 94). Also, Huck could have given Jim up to captors because it was the “right” thing to do but decides not to. This can be seen when Huck lies and tells the men that his “dad” was “sick” and “Everybody goes away when I want them to help me tow the raft ashore” ( Twain 96). Although what Huck and the rest of society would consider right, Huck decides to go against it. An example of this is when Huck decides to rescue Jim from the the Phelps’ plantation and says “ Alright then, I’ll go to hell” ( Twain 205).
In conclusion, Huck journeys down the river with Jim helps Twain develop his theme that society can influence how a person think and act as shown through the relationship between Huck and Jim, the idea of mob mentality, and the struggle of doing something that is considered right by the society versus doing something morally correct. Throughout the journey,