Huck’s Conscience vs. Southern Society

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Huck’s Conscience vs. Southern Society

Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain ridicules southern society. He specifically focuses on the role of racism, slavery, and religion in this hypocritical society. To do this he has the reader embark on a journey following a young boy, Huck, down the Mississippi River. Huck is used to demonstrate the moral crisis many people have with what is social acceptable in society and what is morally right as a human being. The struggle Huck has with his conscience shows how the morals in southern society were in disagreement with basic human rights.

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain tries to show the wrongdoings of society that is ignorant and hypocritical. He does this through painstaking realism and almost factual description. Twain tries to show the wrongness in slavery and the view that slaves are simply mindless farm animals which is accepted by society. Twain is even quoted saying that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is “A book of mine where a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision and conscience suffers a defeat” (Levy). Twain tries to convey this from the point of view of a relatively innocent child, who has been influenced by society but still has his own opinions about life. Leo Levy writes “Huck Finn is presented as a version of “natural man” coming into conflict with all the powers of conventional society and transcending them (at least in part) by virtue of a spontaneous and untutored goodness” (Levy). Huck has been secluded enough from society to not have completely conformed to the thinking of southern society. Huck still has the ignorance of a child which allows him to act purely on human instincts and not like most people in the south.

Mark Twain also makes a major statement about the role of religion in southern society. Twain feels that the religious beliefs of the southern society were hypocritical. Many people truly believe that the way they act...