Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper
Dear Mark Twain, After reading your famous novel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” I don’t feel that the ending you have created is suitable for the book. Throughout the entire novel, Huck is going to all extremes to help out a friend in need, Jim. As a slave, Jim is grateful for having such an honest and open friend like Huck, but it seems as if when he finds out he was free all along, things change. When Jim and Huck found themselves at the end of their journey, neither had anything left to run from because Huck’s dad was dead and Jim found out that Mrs. Watson freed him when she passed away a few months ago and hoped he would soon be with his family. Because of this ending of your choice, we never find out Huck’s true feelings about helping a run away slave besides what we learned earlier in the book. It seems as if the special bond that Huck and Jim shared was over, each were going their own separate ways and moving on in their lives. I found the ending very disappointing because throughout all the situations that took place in the book, Twain develops Huck as a character growing up and accepting his innate ideas of right and wrong, but we soon find out that Huck hasn’t grown at all. It seems as if Huck and Jim have formed a strong friendship with each other and Huck no longer looks down upon his as a slave, but sees him as an equal individual and a friend. When Huck is re-united with Tom, we find this to be false because he goes back to his old ways in which he was taught through his child hood and refers to Jim as property. Another major disappointment is that Twain ends the novel as he started, with Huck running away from a civilized life style. In the beginning of the novel, Mrs. Watson was trying to civilize Huck so he decided to run away, at the end of the novel he fears that Aunt Sally is going to try and civilize him, so he decides to run west to the enchanted territory. This is an important technique that Twain uses to try and indirectly point blame at anybody, but it is obvious to the reader. Huck does not decide to leave because he thinks that society is rotten, he decides to leave because he thinks that he is the one that is rotten, and cannot be civilized, so he decides to go somewhere far away from civilization. Ironically, it is the corrupting influence of civilization that makes Huck “uncivilized”. Although I feel that a different ending is much more appropriate, I also realized that the ending of the novel is relevant to the themes and ideas that make up the main body. I do feel that it is too long-winded and a downfall to such a great novel, but it is very important in reinforcing the message put forth in the rest of the novel; the greatest of which is the shortcomings of modern society and the hypocrisy and arrogance, and even the stupidity of people of Twain’s time. Aside from the ending as a downfall, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn taught an important lesson, one that showed the importance of the self in the maturing process. We saw Huck grow up by having the river as a place of solitude and thought, where he was able to participate in society at times, and also sit back and observe society. Through the child’s eye we see how ignorant and mob-like we can all be. Then nature, peace, and logic are presented in the form of the river where Huck goes to think. Though no concise answer is given, the literature forces the reader to examine their surroundings, and question their leaders, which can also lead into this great disappointment. Because we idolize Huck for his individualism and beliefs, the end of the novel lets all the readers down. We can no longer refer to Huck as a hero because he never got Jim to freedom, instead prevented him from it. Although Huck loved Jim, he feared his future and what would happen to him if he were caught helping a run-away slave. Because of his fear, Huck forces himself to keep Jim from freedom by holding him back and keeping the one thing he always dreamed of from him. If I were to re-write the ending of the novel, I would have Jim and Huck escape from Mr. Phelps without the help of Tom Sawyer. Not only would they escape together, but also Huck would reach his final goal and set Jim free, but they would remain together. Because of the time the novel was written, we know that slaves were inferior to all men no matter who they were, but that’s what makes Huck different from people of his society, skin color doesn’t matter, it’s the quality that the person possess’. Because they have spent so much time together and have become the best of friends, Jim should become the father figure in Huck’s life. Although Jim has a family of his own that he is hoping to find, at heart, Huck was the closest thing to family he had. Throughout the journey they became inseparable and it only seems right if they end up as a family and share happiness like they have been for the past few months. Despite all the negative views of Huck, he is generally a good guy, and tries his best not to mess up. Using Tom Sawyer as his model for the ideal good guy occasionally gets him into trouble, but more often than not, Huck does the right thing. The main thing he has to overcome in the novel is his immense fear of turning out to be a “bad seed” like his father, and of going to Hell for trying to help Jim out. That was really not his fault, considering the common attitude towards slaves, and Blacks in general, when this book was written. However, if you look past all that, you can really see what a good heart he had, and how he dealt with his problems throughout the book as best as he possibly could, considering his lack of good, responsible role models and good education. He applied what little knowledge he had well, and managed to help several people, including himself, along his journey down the river. One idea that I found very interesting was that Huck and Jim were two completely different people running in the same direction in the beginning, and at the end they become the closest of friends, but when we soon learn that it seems as if all has faded away and the journey was useless. It comes across to the reader that both Huck and Jim were on the raft together for one reason and that would be to escape civilization. That would be the original idea but because of their bond that’s not the intent of the book. Huck and Jim both had one thing that held them together and that was the goodness at heart, not only did Huck go against everything he was taught, but he didn’t have a problem doing it and by you ending the book in such a way just seems like everything that happened doesn’t matter and an incredible journey traveled by two amazing individuals doesn’t matter in the end. It just seems like Huck gave up on everything he worked so hard for and not only let himself down, but his best friend and companion Jim also.