The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Huck and Jim's Places in Society

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn correlates extremely well with novels like The Catcher in the Rye in that it illustrates the profound, omnipresent difficulties, with which characters like Huck and Holden must struggle as they are growing up. In Huck's particular instance, he seems, from the very beginning, to be conflicted as to whether he should conform to social norms or live according to his own preferences: "The Widow Douglas, she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize when I couldn't stand it no longer, I lit out...and was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer, he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So I went back" (70-71). As revealed by this quote, Huck has already made that critical decision to separate himself from the corruptions he sees in society (e.g. Pap's abusive alcoholism and excessive racism); he thus sets out on the Mississippi River, hoping to leave behind (perhaps permanently) those societal flaws he had discerned and deemed unacceptable. Unfortunately, no matter how fervent and earnest these efforts of non-conformity may actually be, the basest filth and shortcomings...

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