The adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classical book written for the American people. This book is meant to reveal to the reader the social beliefs of the South American people. This social beliefs include, culture and religion of the people from the south before the civil war conflicts. Before the major battles of that time, the Southern United States ‘ s religion was important to the citizens. The author of the book The Adventures of Huckleberry, Mark Twain demonstrates his personal belief about religion (Camfield 96); he does this through the characters Huck and Jim. This paper will explore Twain’s belief about religion, and how it changed his moral compasses and decision-making.
The story begins with Huck Finn, a boy from the south, who lives with a foster parent. Huck’s father is a drunkard, who cares less for him besides his money. Huck’s guardian, Douglas is a widow, who cares for him. One day he was told a story by his foster mother about Moses and the Bulrushers (Luc par. 4). Hunk was eager to find out about all about Moses but his guardian told him that Moses died long time ago. This made him to lose interest for knowing more about Moses because he did not care about dead people. His disregard for the dead and his belief that learning about them is a waste of time makes him a good character for Twain, who believes that religion is worthless. Twain uses this character to express his personal feeling about religion basing on the dead people.
There is an instance, where Widow Douglas and Huck discusses about heaven. Huck listens attentively as he walks in the woods so as to understand the subject of heaven and its importance to him and other people. (Luc par. 6) He turned the subject in his mind over and over again, but he could not see it to be of advantage to him except for other people. He later concludes not to think about the subject anymore. Miss Watson tries to convince him about heaven but her efforts did not bare any fruits. In this case, Twain emphasizes that religion is useless to him, when Huck realizes that heaven is of advantage to others and not to him. Widow Douglas emphasizes to him the benefits of religion, which are the spiritual gifts but still the boy disregards the idea because it does not benefit him. Huck finds his idea of religion to be totally different from that of the widow and miss Watson (Camfield 111). This does not worry him; he drops the subject and goes on with his moral compass.
Twain presents to the reader his view on how one’s moral compass guides their life: he uses Huck’s friend Jim to show this. There is a discussion between Huck and Jim on the biblical King Solomon’s wisdom. Huck explains the story to Jim, but Jim disputes the story by giving his own interpretation of the story, which is different from the religion perspective. Their discussion shows the reader that Jim is not that religious but at least, he knows what is right and has a clear moral compass, which directs him. He proofs this by giving his interpretation of the King Solomon’s tale (Camfield 97).
Twain presents to the reader another set of characters, that is the King and Duke. These are artists travelling with Huck and Jim. Huck, one day discovers that the two sold Jim to slave catchers. Huck was in a dilemma, whether to turn Jim to Mrs. Watson as he is suppose to do or set him free. He then remembers the story from the Sunday-school about the everlasting fire. He was in a difficult situation, and he had to make a decision , which could reflect his entire life. He had tore a letter to Mrs. Watson, which stated Jims escape, and according to him he followed the right thing. In this case, Twain brings out his believe in his own moral beliefs and decision making (Camfield 98). Later, Jim is released from jail cell by Huck and Tom Sawyer, and they manage to run away. However, Tom escapes with a bullet in his leg, and Huck has to call the doctor and explained to the him about Tom’s disappearance. The doctor was surprised by the risk that had been taken by Tom. Jim who had hid himself, left his cover to help bandage Tom, risking his freedom from slavery. Through Jim, Twin has demonstrated his belief in his moral compass and he was always right according to him (Luc par.9). This is supported by the decisions made by Jim.
In this book, Twain manages to convince the reader that religion is worthless through his characters. It is seen at the end that Jim is freed after aiding in bandaging Tom’s leg, which was based entirely on the moral beliefs of Jim. This story would surely change the perspective of the readers on religion, their belief in their decision-making and moral compass.
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