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I think Huck was always supposed to follow the Southern line of right and wrong. Huck was supposed to turn in Jim, go to church, go to school and become a God fearing Southern gentleman. Huck would have none of that. Instead he follows his own moral code. His conscience is dictated by what he feels is worthy of his loyalty and attention. This is why Huck is such a refreshing character.
I think we still have expectations today that dictate our conscience. We are expected to look after ourselves first regardless of consequences to others. The environment, to many, is merely an idea, spending personal time and money on it is not a priority.