Hypocrisy in Huckleberry Finn
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There is one case of the glorified escape of the homeless child for the whole world from the tutors. It is Huckleberry Finn.
Mark Twain knew the country in which lived very well. He knew it not only as a citizen, but also as a talented and bright writer. Mark Twain really loved his fatherland, but never idealized it. He noticed with bitterness both social injustice and hypocrisy, and all those numerous problems that the American society faced sharply at that time.
Twain criticizes a bourgeois society, and does it from the democratic positions. In his work of art “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” the author opposes the untouched with dirt of bourgeois relations children’s consciousness to a life and ideology of “adult” bourgeoisie. Twain shows us a private world of the child, bares all his feelings and experiences. Beginning work at the novel, Mark Twain could not think that he would write the book not only for adults - about the world and children, but also for children - about them and the world of such “dimmed” adults. Twain opens children’s psychology, moral qualities of the heroes for the reader. He admires their courage, poeticizes their friendship, and condemns social injustice. The attitude of the author to the world, to the events occurring in his country, and to life as a whole - with all its particulars is revealed in these oppositions of good and bad. His satire is directed against bourgeois hypocrisy, religious hypocrisy, and stiffness of petty-bourgeois life.
“Huckleberry Finn in particular is notable for the richness of its portrayals and for its complex presentations of issues such as family, race, and slavery” (“The Norton Anthology”, 2007).
Who is Huckleberry Finn? He is a son of the local drunkard who does not care for his child. Huck is not forced to go to school. He is brought up only by himself. Pretence is alien to the boy, and all the conventions of the civilized life are simply intolerable. The main important thing for Huck is to be free, always and in everything. He should neither wash, nor put on clean clothes. In a word, he has everything that does a life wonderful. Huck is undoubtedly involved with the entertaining games invented by Tom, but Huck highly appreciates a personal freedom and independence. Having lost them, he feels dickey, and he undertakes a dangerous travel, leaving a native city forever in order to find them again. Huck cannot stand hypocrisy. He was made to eat with the help of a fork and a knife. However, he could not live like that, that is why he escaped after three weeks of those tortures.
The mind of Huck is free from romantic clichés, and his character is formed by a reality. He does not have any external ostentatious virtues, he is not a hypocrite, but he possesses all essential advantages. The nature gave him a sincere heart, open for all the humiliated people, and rejecting any impudent force. Huck possesses the feeling of internal independence forcing him to run from content and comfort, offered to him by the Douglas widow, to a wide terrible world. His love of freedom is the rejection of hypocrisy, petty-bourgeois well-being and the legalized lie.
The main feature of human hypocrisy is atheism. The psychology of a small person, of course, in many respects remained former, but now it is added by such features which were not present in Huck. Therefore, Huckleberry Finn is grown as a fair and decent citizen of the country.
In comparison to “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, the Huck’s character is added with a new, rather considerable quality - a civic courage. From the first chapters Mark Twain describes Huck as an active participant of a social conflict. He is a defender of a runaway slave. Rescuing Jim from the slave traders, he risks to lose own freedom. However, Twain emphasizes that the requirements of struggle for Jim’s freedom is organically inherent in Huck, as well as hatred to hypocrisy and everything that constrains him.
The Huck’s character is described in development, and this development is convincing motivated. Huck has grown in the south where slaveholding sets its seal on the way of thinking of any white. Twain does not tear his hero off the environment in which he was brought up; however, at the same time he shows Huck in a state of incessant struggle against prejudices and hypocrisy of this environment. The dialectic contradiction underlying an image makes Huck especially alive and dynamic; it gives him psychological reliability.
In the book we see mature Huck Finn. His life differs from the life of Tom Sawyer. The Huck’s image is closer to the author. Mark Twain especially highly appreciates Huck’s humanity, his human attitude to people. This humanity is shown in his attitude to Jim. Brought up in specific conditions of the legalized slavery, he overcomes the slaveholding prejudices.
“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is a multilayered and polychromatic product. Twain’s humor in this large work is transformed. The basic sounding of the book with Huck in the center is satirical. With the appearance of this novel, the critical realism in the American literature had reached its blossoming. Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” vividly represents the peculiarities of the American real life full with hatred, hypocrisy and lies.