Huck Finn 5 Essay, Research Paper
Cynicism, idiocracy, facades are all words that come to one s mind as one reads The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain as he comments on the bitter commentary upon Man and his behavior. Throughout the novel Twain speaks through Huckleberry Finn, the protagonist of the novel. The commentary is episodic and gives prime examples of how he feels about this.
Trust is something that one gains over a period of time. As an exception to the rule Twain, and consequently Huck trust individuals until given reason not to. When Huckleberry Finn makes the commentary, Next Sunday we all went to church The men took their guns along, so did Buck, and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall. The Sheperdsons done the same (Twain 109). Twain doesn t even feel safe in church, which is ironic in itself. The place where one would most commonly feel safe would be church, but Twain doesn t even feel safe their. With good reason, when one comes to church to make a social appearance while carrying a gun, safety becomes a factor. Twain feels that the Grangerfords and the Shepherdson s are products of their society. Society has taught them to hate over petty issues that they can t even remember. The novel comes to the conclusion that people are inherently good until they are introduced into society. The mob mentality of society is also credited by Twain for the demise of people who live in it. Colonel Sherburn remarks, Why don t your juries hang murderers? Because they re afraid the man s friends will shoot them in the back, in the dark-and it s just what they would do (146). The angry group of people that make up the mob are just that, an angry group of people. They can t think on their own; otherwise they wouldn t be in a mob. When one lives in society, one tends not to think for one s self. This situation isn t good for anyone. When individuals do not think for themselves anything can happen. Twain shows how it can be bad. One person had an idea and many wanted to join in, but no one wanted to be the instigator. He insinuates that society is bad because people aren t themselves. They follow tradition and one another instead of themselves, which is bad for the individual and the society.
Scams and shenanigans plague this novel. In almost every chapter there is some sort of trickery used; sometimes it works, other times it doesn t. Huck trusts until given reason not to. A prime instance of this is when he first meets the Duke and the Dauphin. Huck thinks to himself: It didn t take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn t no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing, never let on; kept it to myself; it s the best way; then you don t have no quarrels, and don t get into no trouble. If they wanted to call them kings and dukes, I hadn t no objections, long as it would keep peace in the family; and it warn t no use to tell Jim, so I didn t tell him (125). Huckleberry in this situation is a prime example of trust, when to trust and when not to. Huckleberry knows soon after they meet that these are fraudulent figures. He doesn t see anything being accomplished by uncovering the fa ade. Twain makes a comment on the social aspect; one really doesn t know whom he is associating with, beware but do not take this as an excuse not to trust people. Even though, shenanigans are constantly being tried, that doesn t make them bad people, one must be aware of the surroundings that are present. When Huck Finn dresses up as a girl and meets up with an unsuspecting Mrs. Judith Loftus; who happens to own the house which Huckleberry stumbles onto doesn t realize his real identity. The woman says to Huck, whom she thinks is just an ordinary runaway: You just tell me your secret, and trust me. I ll keep it; and, what s more, I ll help you. So ll my old man if you want him to (60). This woman who has never seen Huckleberry in her life before, caught this boy in a lie and still trusts him. Twain comments on this aspect of our society, by saying that one never knows what they are in for when they meet a new acquaintance. Acting much as Huckleberry did with the Duke and the Dauphin, she trusts him because he did not give her a reason to otherwise. As the author has shown in multiple episodes throughout the novel, it is always a surprise when meeting someone new. Twain finds it adventurous when meeting new people, everyone is different and the acquaintance might not always be what you previously thought. Nonetheless, he feels that trust should be given out until proven otherwise.
Twain feels that his fellow man is benevolent when the individual is not a member of society. When the individual is in society, decisions can be influenced by the mob mentality or by what society deems as expectable. Twain needed episodes in this novel to show pure isolated incidents where these situations were happening. Twain has a notion of improvement. Nothing is perfect; and he shows how people in society can be changed for the better. Whatever one does, Twain feels that we should trust an individual, unless there is substantial reason not to. He also alludes that everyone is in a situation where fraudulent behavior is a must, and unless the behavior is harmful there is not a reason to rescind on the acquaintanceship.