Huck and Tom from Huckleberry Finn

Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn opens by familiarizing us with the events of the novel that preceded it, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Both novels are set in the city of St. Petersburg, Missouri, which is located on the banks of the Mississippi River. At the end of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, a poor boy with a alcoholic father, and his friend Tom Sawyer, a middle class boy with a very active imagination, found a golden stash of a thief.
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Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer’s best friend, escapes from his alcoholic father and runs along the Mississippi river with Jim, a fugitive slave who also runs away for fear of being sold. The two of them sail down the Mississippi river looking for freedom and on their trip they will encounter many dangers and go through many adventures.
Beginning with Huckleberry Finn, he has to decide who to be loyal to religion or his instincts; obey his father or obey the widow; Listen to Tom or the Phelps. With all these conflicts, Huck will have to make his way where he thinks is right, something quite difficult for him being just a child trapped in a world ruled by moral laws. The attractiveness of his personality is that he faces these conflicts very seriously. Look at the scene where Huck decides to apologize to Jim no matter if Jim is black, or that moment when Huck must decide whether to hand it over or not and explain everything to Miss Watson. On the one hand, all the rules he has grown up with tell him that he cannot free a slave. It doesn’t matter if he thinks Jim is his friend, he really thinks he will go to hell if he helps the slave. Following his beliefs, Huck demonstrates an incredibly strong personality when defiantly says that the devil with his conscience will simply go to hell and that’s it. “All right, then, I’ll go to hell.”
While Huck takes time to appreciate Jim as a person and not as a property or slave, Jim feels compassion and affection for him from the first moment. When both find the body in the cave (Huck’s dad), Jim protects Huck from seeing such a scene. When they are together on the raft, Jim is waiting to relieve Huck so he can shelter and sleep. Of course, at the end of the novel, Jim makes the greatest sacrifice, gives his freedom, and probably also his life, to save Tom Sawyer. The story Jim tells us of his daughter reminds us again that he has a lot to lose, perhaps more than Huck himself. Although we may admit that he is a good guy, at first, he does not seem to be the most refined person in the world. He is superstitious and uneducated. But we soon realize that his beliefs are not terribly different from the religion professed by Miss Watson, that having no education does not deprive him of being a super intelligent person, and that his credulity is simply a symptom of his innocence, an attribute more characteristic of its environment than its character. “I do not wish any reward but to know I have done the right thing.”
Tom Sawyer is Huck’s good friend, which we know from another Mark Twain book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Huck calls him ‘the educated child’ because he has read, is imaginative and incurably mischievous. From the beginning of the story, since Huck and Tom play together, Huck expresses the desire to resemble Tom. Although most of the novel is not present, Huck refers to Tom frequently, wishing to have a good story to tell, as good as Tom’s, or to come up with an even better plan. Therefore, despite his absence, Tom is an important character. One of the biggest problems, it becomes evident when Tom returns to the scene and towards the end of the novel. Supposedly, he is ‘the educated child’ with good principles and a solid conscience but allows Jim to suffer as a prisoner without saying he is a free man. Yes, in the end it ‘makes up for it,’ but the fact that he uses Jim as a toy reinforces the idea that Jim is a property and somehow, that he is not human. Also notice that Huck is horrified by him, for wanting to steal a slave, an act that Huck obviously considers despicable. Apparently, some of the lessons are not learned throughout the novel. In any case, we must remember that Tom, like Huck, is a child and as such is prone to heavy jokes, fantasies and games. In fact, if the widow’s religion is the church, and Jim’s is superstition, Tom’s ‘religion’ is his literature. He constantly tries to emulate books, plotting his plans according to the stories he reads. But for Huck, he represents another set of rules, another instance of how things should be. This, perhaps, satirizes the other systems of laws, such as religion, superstition and even the laws of the country (such as slavery).

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