Huckleberry Finn’s Struggle with Society

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Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a sequel to his previous work The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in the late nineteenth century. The main character Huckleberry Finn is struggling to follow the standards set for him, through this novel the author advocates that some individuals, like Finn, struggle to follow mainstream society and its expectations. Huckleberry Finn questions the teachings of slavery, race, and class of the society surrounding him.

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Finn has a series of adventures throughout the novel in which he struggles between the ways in which society expects him to act, and the things he wants to truly believe in.

The novel begins with a continuation of the previous work by Twain in which we find out that hes been living, still in St. Petersburg, Missouri, with the Window Douglas and Miss Watson while they attempt to educate him and civilize him in the ways of school, religion, and manners (Godin). Huckleberry has no intentions of staying with these two ladies, and receiving a proper education as expected of him. His friend Tom Sawyer, from Twains previous novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, convinces Huckleberry to stay and learn what he can for the purpose of appearing respectable. After living with Widow Douglas for a time Huckleberry becomes accustomed to the idea of a proper education, until his father shows up. His father is notorious drunk who abuses Finn. Upon his return, Finns father puts him in a cabin and beats him after coming home drunk. It is after this he decides to travel where his father cannot find him. It is at this point that Huckleberry realizes that living in mainstream society is not for him. He and Miss Watsons runaway slave escape on a raft floating down the Mississippi River.

With all the things he has experienced in his short lifetime, Finn acts in a much older manner than expected, and has picked up some inappropriate behaviors such as swearing and smoking.

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