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Twain loved the old south, and the reader is meant to be sympathetic toward Huck's decisions. The modern reader already has historical knowledge of slavery's end in the south.
Yes, Huck knows what he's doing would be considered wrong by the people he's been surrounded by his entire life..... but he didn't do it to be courageous or brave; he did it because it was morally right. That's one of the most valuable things about innocence.....