Huck Finn Essay
Heart plays an important role in everyday life, but for most, mind powers over heart. In a corrupted society it’s hard for a young voice to stand out over all the rest, but for Huck, his one voice was heard. Huck puts his heart before his mind when it comes to making decisions and essentially, it is the foundation of Huck and Jim’s relationship. Huckleberry Finn shows that a pure heart can overcome a deformed conscience when the individual goes against society’s beliefs and allows his conscience to reform over time. “A discriminating irreverence the creator and the protector of human liberty” (Twain).
As the book starts out, Huck is fearful of his father, which ultimately leads to his conflict between his conscience and heart. His head is telling him that he needs to love his parents because society has always told us that parents are good. On the other side, he is trying to get him away from his father because he is a dangerous man and never has done any good to young Huck. “Then I turned around, and there he was. I used to be scared of him all the time, he tanned me so much. I reckoned I was scared now too” (Twain 14).
When Huck describes seeing his father for the first time, it is clear that Huck is frightened. His heart powers over his mind when he runs away and develops new values by wanting safety and he knows that it’s merely impossible to have a safe environment when living with his father. When Huck came into acquaintance with the Grangerfords, he was truly exposed to society at its worst. He was thrown in the middle of a family feud that had been carrying on for many generations and from the family’s point of view; everything about the feud was completely normal.
But once Huck stepped in, he knew that the Grangerford family was unusual. However, his deformed conscience told him that the society he lived in was common and he went along with the feud. When Huck met the Grangerford’s for the first time, he was amazed by the beautiful home they lived in. His first reaction to his first site of the house was, “I hadn’t seen no house out in the country before that was so nice and had so much style” (Twain 74). The Grangerford’s appeared to be a high-toned, grand and high-class, but in reality they are a completely uncivilized family and savaging.
Not knowing what the fighting was for, Huck became curious about the feud and asked Buck for the whole story by saying, “‘What did he do to you? ’ ‘Him? He never done nothing to me. ’ ‘Well, then, what did you want to kill him for? ’ ‘Why nothing – only it’s on account of the feud. ’ (Twain 81)” When Huck asks Buck why he wants to kill the Shepherdsons his answer is very childish and ridiculous. The Grangerford family represents irony because they appear to be a high-class family that would behave like royalty but in reality they are nothing but crazy because they act to immaturely by killing others.
His heart told him that murdering innocent people was wrong so once again his deformed conscience was overruled in thinking that feud’s bring nothing but problems. Huck has the ability to make fair decisions when being removed from the corrupted society, but not when he is a part of it. Huck always starts out listening to his deformed conscience when he is involved in society but makes his way back out of trouble by listening to his heart. This can be represented when Huck decides to free Jim from slavery by tearing up the letter he wrote to Miss Watson and saying, “All right, then, I’ll go to hell” (Twain162).
This is a significant quote because Huck decides that going to hell is more important than letting his best friend suffer from slavery. His heart overcomes his conscience and his conscience becomes reformed in ways of believing in equality for all mankind, and this decision proves Huck’s loyalty to Jim as a friend and their friendship is able to carry on. When Huck and Jim first ventured off together in hope of starting over in a new life, Huck began to set the differences aside between him and Jim subconsciously because he did as his heart felt.
As they both sought freedom and independence, Huck’s heart over powered his mind and his conscience was silenced as he began his character reformation. As they developed a friendship, Huck expanded his mind in ways of thinking what is best for Jim. Huck’s character matured as he made ethical decisions to help Jim find freedom and stay safe as they did so. Huck’s pure heart saved Jim’s life and his corrupted conscience was silenced.