In everyday life, society affects the way a person thinks and acts without them even being aware of it. This leads to the more human side of society being a huge influence on mentality, too. This can be both dangerous and toxic for a person considering the effects of it and authors often take this into account. This results in the literature about how society affects the protagonist and everyone around them negatively. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain explores the flaws in society and how it messes with the morality of the people within society.
In the novel, the people seem to let fear get in the way of doing something hard, however when there is no fear the people seem to be eager to help out The novel states “And there was the ferry boat full of people, floating along down….They were firing the cannon, trying to make the carcass come to the top (Twain 49).” This is important because when Huck was in trouble, no one was willing to come to save him.
But when they had to search for him, there wasn’t anything for the people to fear and everyone seemed to want to help look for Huck. The reader can see that the fear even applies to our modern society in some ways, too. Whenever people are confronted with the difficult or the scary, they usually turn the other way or step back because they believe they should not have to deal with it.
Mark Twain could have been conveying this point through Huck’s situation, too.
Secondly, Twain seems throughout the novel Twain seems to convey the point that Jim is not treated fairly by the society and the people around him, which makes the reader think about their morals on compassion for others. The book says “So there’s a reward out for him- three hundred dollars (Page 76).” By putting a bounty on Jim, they are not respecting him as his free person. Instead, it showed that he was disrespected by everyone around him and that they did not view him as an equal. This is both uncompassionate and cruel towards Jim and no one should ever be treated this way. The second way he is treated unfairly is When Huck and Tom force Jim to do all of these tasks to escape, it shows that at that moment, Huck had forgotten that Jim had helped him through this whole Journey. People in modern society can be like this, too at times. Children can forget the kindness their parents show them regularly and people can even forget the trouble and conflicts others have saved them from. People of the time might have read this and judged both Huck and Tom, but they forget that they can be like this too sometimes because the society we live in often forgets how to be compassionate to others.
Next off, the society in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn seems to be controlled by lies and the people often do not think of the long-term consequences. When Pap is speaking in court book states “Pap said he’d been a man that had been misunderstood before and the judge said that he believed it (Twain 29).” it leads the reader to think that society believes lies very easily. This also majorly impacts Huck’s life, too. It causes him to fake his death to escape this awful man and get a better life of ‘adventure’. In reality-Huck is running away from the consequences of Pap’s lies and the life he would have to bear if he did not run away. Another instance of the lies came from Huck when he, the duke, and the dauphine pretended to be the sister’s three uncles. This caused controversy for the family of the deceased father more than it helped them and if they did it out of selfish desires, too. Twain could have been writing about the issue of lying in his society at the time, because no matter what period a reader is in, lying is still a relevant problem. This could range from tiny white lies to huge impactful ones. Lies are still lies and people should think about the long-term consequences, no matter how small or big they are.
The reason these points are important is that Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn seemed to have an underlying theme regarding the faults in society. First was the way he touched on fear in society that caused people to decide against action. The next was Twain touching on compassion in society using Jim’s character and situation. And lastly because of the lies that the society seemed to encourage and their consequences. In conclusion, the moralities of the people are heavily encouraged by