Huckleberry Finn, the protagonist of the novel, has a strong moral and is able to make judgments base on his own principles. Growing up uneducated and having little care from his parents has made Huck an outcast of the society. All the hardships that he encountered have made him extremely independent for a boy his age. Through out his adventure, Huck was struggling between the principles of the society and the principles of himself. This was evident when he was deciding if he should set Jim free or write and tell Miss Watson about the situation.
In the end he decided to follow his heart and help set Jim free, which proves that he has a strong moral. Huck is also very kind, which is the contrary of what should be expected from someone like him. Since Huck grew up in a harsh environment, he should turn all the rages and the sense of unfairness into revenge. However he did not do that. It was also apparent that Huck was a great liar, but he did not lie in order to do others any harm. The purpose of his lies was to protect himself or others around him.
Many of Jim’s character traits have contradicted a lot of the stereotype statements about black slaves back in the 1800s. For example, when Jim and Huck encounter some kind of trouble, Jim would always know what to do or say in order to get them out of the situation. This has proven that Jim is very intelligent.
He is also very caring and loving, this was evident when he took care of Huck like his own child, and worried about him when ever he’s missing. Growing up as a slave, Jim has become extremely loyal and obedient, because these were what he was taught to do. It was apparent that Jim craves freedom, and as the book goes on, this desire became stronger and stronger. Overall, Jim resembles the exact opposite of what people thought a black person should be back in the 1800s, and has proven their stereotype statements false.
Tom is the least developed amongst the three characters, but without him, Huck’s final adventure would not have happened. It was evident from the beginning of the book that Tom was a leader. The band of robbers that he started was named “Tom Sawyer’s Gang”, and this shows that other kids, including Huck, looked up to him, and followed his directions. Tom is very adventurous and energetic, and is stuck in a fantasy world. He wanted to have adventures like the ones from stories and books that he read. Due to this, he has created Huck’s final adventure in the book in order to satisfy his own desires. Although he knew Jim was a free man, he did not tell him that, instead he used Huck and Jim as tools in order to create his own adventure, which shows his selfishness.
Freedom was definitely one of the most important themes throughout the novel. From the beginning of the book, the Widow tried to civilize Huck, and later on, Huck’s pa gained control of him. It was apparent that Huck did not like the restrictions from them, and wanted to be free. The reason why that Huck decided to free Jim is because he felt that freedom is a common value amongst them. The Mississippi River is the ultimate symbol for freedom in the book. The river’s current is always changing and moving freely without any restrictions, which is what both Jim and Huck wanted. The river has guided and led the two to their ultimate goal, freedom.
Mockery of society was also one of the major themes in the novel. The author was able to reflect the worst elements of the real world in the book, and present them to the society so people can recognize their false. For example, the feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons presented the pointless things that people hate each other for.
The two families do not even remember why they were fighting, and felt that killing the members of the other family was their duty. As more people started to die, a never ending cycle of revenge was formed, and what’s even more ridiculous is that both families were religious and attended the same church. This event was a satire of religion and presented the darkness within people’s heart. The author also presented the unfairness of how people treated the slaves and used Jim’s personality traits to prove many of the stereotype statements false. The Duke and the King, who often scammed others to make a profit, epitomizes the selfishness and greed of many of the people in the society.
The themes honor and moral also emerged in the novel. Huck had a set of morals for himself, and no matter what he did, he never crossed a certain limit. For example, when the Duke and the King were pretending to be Mary Jane’s uncles, Huck told her about their scam. This is because what the Duke and the King were doing was beyond what Huck can accept, and he finally decided to rid of their presence. Honor is what defines a person, and it is what separates people who are good from those who are bad. The reason why the Duke and the King are considered to be grifters is because of their corruption and lack of morals. The author was able to create a clear contrast amongst the characters to show this theme.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered to be one of the first great American novels, and one of the reasons for this is because of its actions and descriptions. The book was loaded with actions, and they came one after another. Due to this, the interest of the readers is always kept. Also the descriptions and details in the book were able to make the scenes come alive, and they were able to allow the readers to see exactly what was going on. Books with a great amount of actions usually have very little character development. However, in this book, the author was able to develop the characters through the actions, and the major characters were all fully developed by the end of the story. The novel overall is very humorous, which is another reason why that people enjoy the book. The intelligence and the ability of the book to make the readers think and reflect is also one of its major strengths.
Although the book is one of the first great American novels, it still contains a few weaknesses. One of its weaknesses is that the language used in the dialogues is difficult for non-Southern Americans to understand, especially dialogues involving Jim. The era and the location at which it is written have affected the language used, and thus creating a barrier between the text and the readers. The plot of the book was fairly complicated, and sometimes understanding the situation in the novel can be very difficult. Since there are many names and minor characters in the book, keeping track of them can be a challenge.