Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Huckleberry Finn’s Journey of Lies

Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been placed on the never-ending list of banned books. At first glance a reader may think the reasoning behind the banning may be due to the controversial usage of racial slurs, but one of the hidden reasons such a classic book has been banned in years past may have stemmed from the constant presence of deception and lies.

Through out the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck lives a life based off of distrust. He has lost the ability to trust and in that he begins to live a life filled with lies. Huck’s adventures with Jim are filled with deceit, not only is Huck running away and hiding, but he makes up new aliases as he continues further down his journey. Huck states: “I reckon I shook like a leaf , and I didn’t know hardly what to do” (65) demonstrating a sense of guilt. Huck’s conscience is growing as he carries along on his journey with Jim.

At first glance these lies may seem immoral, but the more Huck lies the more he slowly begins to transform into a moral and honest individual. This paradox can be seen when the king and duke demonstrate a life filled with lies. Using these two men as examples Huck is now able to see the pain and torment that comes with lying. He slowly realizes that he is looking in a mirror when he looks at the two men, because they, too, are living a life filled off the basis of deceit. Huck becomes enlightened and slowly changes his ways. Huck states his disgust for the two men stating that their actions were “enough to make a body ashamed of the human race” (160). Huck’s judge of character reflects his development as a more mature individual.

This novel may include deceit, but Adventures of Huckleberry Finn clearly demonstrates Huck’s journey into finding his identity and learning who he is. By banning a novel on development prevents the reader to find a new perspective on the transformation into a better person. Although Adventures of Huckleberry Finn may not go at highlighting this journey at the ideal or conventional way, this novel shines a light on a new attempt at describing the voyage of self discovery.

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