Huck experienced many situations on his adventure down the Mississippi River, and by the end •Morals are what someone falls back on when faced with a problem or a difficult decision. •Some people think that morals come from childhood and feel they are similar to born instincts. •Others believed that morals are developed through real life situations. The first big awakening for Huck is when Pap returns to his life. Huck finds out that his father has come around again to seek Huck’s wealth. Pap goes on many drunken sprees, and eventually kidnaps Huck and takes him to the forest where he is locked up in Pap’s cabin.
Huck quickly learns that Pap was not the sort of person to be raised by. “He chased me round and round the place with a clap-knife, calling me the Angel of Death, and saying he would kill me, and then I couldn’t come for him no more”(Twain 29). Pap was a rough abusive alcoholic and Huck decided for himself that it would be best for Pap’s influence not to be present. This is the first big step in the development of Huck’s morals because he deciphers for himself, even though it is plainly obvious, what is wrong and right and that Pap is not the father figure he needs as a young adult.
Huck’s morals concerning right vs. wrong unravel more when he becomes acquainted with the Duke and the King. Over the course of the story, it becomes relevant that the King and the Duke are obvious scam artist and put on an excellent display of what is bad and unacceptable. When Huck first meets the King and the Duke, it takes him little time to realize their corruption and lack of morals. This didn’t bother Huck very much because at the time he was such a rebel and lacked respect for authority and rules.
By the end of Huck’s so-called companion ship with these two hoodlums, he had a horrible feeling of remorse for even associating himself with the King and the Duke. After the King and the Duke’s scandal involving the impersonation of the Wilks brothers, Huck had thought that he finally rid himself of their presence. When all of the sudden he saw them running towards Huck and Jim’s raft. Huck could not take it anymore. “So I wilted down onto the planks then, and give up; and it was all I could do to keep from crying”(Twain 205). This was an excellent display of Huck choosing who should influence him.
Towards the conclusion of the novel, Jim is captured again and is enslaved by Mr. Phelps. Huck starts to write a letter to Miss Watson alerting her that she can get Jim back, but he has seconds thoughts. Huck starts to think about all the great times he has had with Jim; how Jim has been like a father to him and how he has helped Huck through this journey his life. Huck struggled with the decision to send the letter but concluded; “I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: “All right, then, I’ll go to hell” – and tore it up” (Twain 214).
This is an amazing almost pre-conclusion to the novel. Huck reaches his epiphany of moral development, because he decided for himself that what others accepted was not always right. This tale takes place during the times when slavery was still accepted in America. The socially correct thing for Huck to do was for him to turn in Jim, but he decided for himself that Jim was a human being, and that he did not deserve to be a slave. The story of Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful display of many matters and themes, but the most prominent one is the development of morals.
Huck encounters situations one after another thought the story where he is faced with important decisions where he depends on his moral values to fall back on, but Huck was constantly developing his morals and sharpening his conscience. Every decision he made and event he experienced only made him smarter and stronger. When looking back on a lifetime of experiences and memories, it is easy to realize that the good and the bad were all beneficial to a strong and developed moral conscience. Mark Twain obviously realized it, maybe he wrote this story for the people who have not yet grasped that fact.