In the society that Huckleberry Finn lived in everybody was to believe that
whites were superior to blacks. So as Huck and Jim go further down the
Mississippi River, Huck is trying to determine what is wrong and what is right.
Incidents where he was questioning what was right and wrong were, when they got
split up on the raft, helping Jim escape and the letter to Miss Watson.
playing a joke on Jim pretending that the raft never got away from the canoe and
they got separated in the fog. Huck convincing Jim that he was just dreaming. So
Jim starts telling Huck about this "dream". When hes finished, Huck shows
him that it really did happen, and that hes just been the butt of a joke. Jim
reacts very emotionally.
He says he was ready to die when he thought hed lost
Huck, and that anyone who would play such a prank on a friend is trash. Such
talk like this from a black person to a white person could have that black hung.
Instead of hanging him, Huck apologizes to Jim. The significance is that most
white folks dont apologize to black folks. It didnt matter what the white
folks did to the blacks but some how the blacks deserved it.
Huck didnt have
to apologize to Jim but something deep inside told him to. As they are getting
closer to Cairo, Huck is realizing what he has got himself into by helping a
slave escape. When Jim is talking about getting an Abolitionist to help him
steal his children- children that belong to someone Huck doesnt even know-
Huck freezes with fear. Now his conscience tells him to do the right thing
according to society, turn Jim in. Huck leaves the boat giving Jim an excuse
about seeing how far Cairo is but is really going toturn him into authorities.
As Huck is leaving Jim calls out and saying something along the lines as Huck
being the only white gentleman who ever kept his promise to old Jim.
comment really got to Huck and actually unnerved him a little. On the way to the
shore Huck is stopped by two men looking for runaway slaves. He decides to tell
these to men that he is traveling with a white man. The significance of this is
that Huck is willing to lie to save Jim.
This is very unusual considering that
it is a white lying for a black. And that a teenage boy who is still growing up
and learning what is right and wrong is lying. Jim has been identified as a
runaway slave and was sold. Because of this, Huck sits down and thinks where he
is, how he got there, and what he should do next. He believes that once again he
has fallen short of societys standards.
So to make up for this bad behavior
he decides to write Miss Watson a letter telling her where Jim is, believing
that Jim would be happier with his family and other people he knows. But then
decides to tear up the letter because he believes that Miss Watson, and everyone
else who knows Jim, would never again treat him well, now that hes tried to
run away. The significance is that Huck is willing to go to hell for Jim.
Through out this whole story Huck is faced with doing "right or wrong".
has convinced himself that he has done a serious wrong because he helped Jim
escape and did not turn Jim into authorities or return him to Miss Watson. He
blamed himself for these wrongs in society standards. He thought that since it
was wrong in society that meat that it was wrong morally.