The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Huck Finn's Coming of Age

With his novel about a young adolescent's journeys and struggles with the trials and questions associated with Huck's maturation, Mark Twain examines societal standards and the influence of adults that one experiences during childhood. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn have been condemned since its publication, usually focusing, especially in modern times, on its use of the word "nigger." While this could be a valid argument had the author portrayed Jim negatively, I find another reason to argue against the novel, especially by school boards and parents groups: because it subverts the ideals that many parents wish to instill in their impressionable youth. Reading this book for the first time since high school and my departure from my parents three years ago, watching Huck live without parental controls made me realize how impressionable one is to the values instilled by his constant role models. Without being forced to conform to societal standards, Huck is allowed to use his own logic to realize what is good and bad, rather than blindly following his elders' "wisdom."

At the beginning of the novel, Huck shows his skepticism of the values that society imposes when the Widow Douglas attempts to...

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