The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Return to Instinct: The Inescapability of the Nature of One’s Upbringing 11th Grade

While Huck periodically shows flashes of progression from the stagnant and bigoted society into which he was born, his inherent attraction and loyalty to the ways of his hometown and specifically Tom Sawyer prevent him from making an overall progression over the course of his adventures. Moreover, regardless of his actions themselves, Huck’s inability to consistently act independently of Tom reveals that he does not grow into a more mature or “better” human being, and furthermore becomes a worse person. Huck effectively reveals that although people can identify that an idea is morally wrong, they are often unwilling or unable to actually rectify the wrongdoing.

Although Huck often demonstrates that he is unimpressed by the pompous superficiality of the civilized world, portrayed to him in large part by the feud between the Stephensons and Grangerfords and the phony Duke and Dauphin, he only reluctantly makes active attempts to amend what disgusts him. Huck voices his displeasure with the cruelty of the Duke and Dauphin, saying their fraudulent sign language “was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race” (173). Huck recognizes the two to be frauds as states “these liars warn’t no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 2099 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10958 literature essays, 2741 sample college application essays, 820 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in