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Huck Finn Essay

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Lessons Learned Ashore

In Mark Twain's novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huckleberry is a boy who makes mischief with his friend Tom Sawyer as well as other men he meets. Even though he is always getting into trouble, Huckleberry still has a conscience and wants to do what is right. After Huck leaves his home with Jim, they start making their journey down the Mississippi river so Jim can gain his freedom. However, every once in a while Huck must go onto dry land where he is burdened with the problems of society. He is faced with society's weaknesses and these weaknesses teach him more about himself. Huck realizes that blind vengeance only leads to bloodshed, and that sacrificing oneself to do the right thing is more important than just letting an innocent person suffer.

While Huck is staying with the Grangerfords, he realizes that their feud with the Sheperdsons is futile because neither family knows what the feud is about. They are just continuing on the tradition of violence that their ancestors started. "What was the trouble about Buck?"... "But they don't know now what the row was about in the first place" (128). The Grangerfords are fighting and dying for a cause that they know nothing of. They continue their quest for vengeance whenever one of their men is killed, and they are forced to predict; "Yes-right smart chance of funerals"(128). The Grangerfords are prepared to and already have died for an unknown cause, yet they refuse to stop until all the Sheperdsons are dead. Not even the killing of Buck and his cousin make the Grangerfords realize that they will continue to lose loved ones until both families are gone. Huck is taught that vengeance leads only to death and suffering unless someone is mature enough to stop it. After living on the calm serine river for awhile, where there are no societal problems', coming ashore is a shock. People solve their problems with violence on land, and the river is where everyone can be calm and forget their problems. One can not control the river; he can only let it carry him.

After Jim is captured Huck contemplates whether or not to free him. He knows that Jim is just a negro who is not as important as the whites, but he is still his friend. Huck will risk going to hell so he can do the right thing and help his friend escape. He realizes that even though it means he will be eternally damned, doing the



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