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Huck Finn Ending

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Huck Finn Ending

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, follows a boy and a runaway slave on an adventure down the Mississippi in a quest for freedom. The ending of the story is very confusing because throughout the story Huck is constantly learning and becoming a better person by gaining his own morals and ignoring the ones created by society, and suddenly at the end of the story he seems to forget all that he has learned and returns to his former self from the beginning. It is also confusing because we discover that Jim was actually free for most of their journey because his owner died, and Huck's father was dead the whole time. This makes their adventure down the Mississippi seem as though it was all for nothing which raises the question: Why did Twain create this ending? This question has been debated for a long time and there are many theories to what the answer might be. I believe that Mark Twain intentionally creates a confusing and futile feeling ending to the story in order to show that the terrible ideas of the time were hopelessly entrenched in the society and had no chance of being changed, and that the only hope was to leave the society all together.

Huck has an aversion to society and powerful connection to nature to show that society is wrong and that he doesn't agree with the societal beliefs of the time. Throughout the story, Huck feels a strong connection to nature and a dislike of being "sivilized". While on his journey he gets away from the society and by doing this is able form his own morals and ignore the ones created for him by society. Immediately from the beginning he knows that he doesn't want to be stuck in the society so he says, "The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied(1.2)". Huck says this to demonstrate his comfort with the nature and dislike of society. This view of society stays constant through his journey as he begins to see the problems in his society. This happens by meeting up with the Duke and Dauphin and seeing how terrible the people in their society are, and he sees extreme ignorance and racism which shows him that he must live outside society if he wants to be happy. The raft is the embodiment of the escape from civilization, as Huck and Jim can both be themselves and feel safely away from the society that controlled them. Stephan Railton agrees with this statement which he discusses in his article about Huck Finn, "In the middle of Huck Finn, Mark Twain let Jim step out from behind the racist stereotype that has proven a lot harder to destroy than slavery. The effect of the ending, though, is to put him back in blackface so the whites of his eyes will show more conspicuously when they roll". He points to the fact that by leaving their society they can express themselves freely. He also discusses the end of the story as making Jim and Huck turn back into themselves from the beginning and regressing from who they were on the raft. Railton believes that he does this just to please the masses; however, I believe that he actually does this to emphasize the pointlessness of trying to change or affect change in this society.

Huck gains his own morals that are all based off his friendship with Jim, but in the end he loses these morals



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