Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why did Huck have a change of heart?

Do you think that Huck is a moral person?  This is an extremely difficult question to answer, simply because every person can have a different perspective of what being "moral" means.  This would mean that we can have tons of different answers or statements over Huck's morality.  In class, my group talked about why, after the funeral, did Huck suddenly have a change of heart.  Although we all agreed that generally Huck did the right thing, and was always pretty moral. He still stole things (or 'borrowed') just to survive.  We all chose the same passage, "Well, if ever I struck anything like it, I'm a nigger.  It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race."  I thought that this passage was showing that Huck suddenly realized that they were going to con a group of people, who hadn't done anything wrong.  It wasn't as if they were conning people because they needed the money to survive.  Early, Huck had borrowed a chicken, because Jim and him had needed it to survive.  This was different.  Huck was in a gang, led by the king and the duke, who were using these people's emotions, to gain a profit.  It really is a terrible situation, and Huck finally realizes this.  Before I had read the three most recent chapters, I wasn't sure how Huck was going to act.  If he was going to tell the town what they were doing, and that the king and duke were frauds, or if he was just going to let the con happen.  

So far, Huck has decided to take the plan into his own hands, and has taken the money from the king and duke and hidden it in the coffin.  He plans to write a letter to Mary Jane and let her know where the money is in a few weeks. I believe Huck's actions now, prove that our originally theory about this particular situation made Huck somehow feel uncomfortable.  My question to you, is why?  Why was this situation different for Huck?  Why did his guilty conscience suddenly spark, and make him realize that what he was doing was wrong?  Was it because the people they were stealing from didn't deserve it?  What do you think?


  1. I think that you make really good points about how we have watched Huck's morals change throughout the book. I think that one of the things that has had the most impact on Huck is actually Jim and the fact that Pap (not a good role model for Huck) is out of the picture at this point. This situation at the funeral seemed to be one of the strongest instances where Huck really questions his morals, and I believe that once he really started to get to know the girls and the people of the town that he realized what he was doing was bad and that he wasn't feeling good about himself for doing it either. I think that this moment, or this "spark", had been developing throughout the book for a while. I think that it just finally hit him and he figured out what he needed to do.

  2. Huck is a complicated fella. I definitely see a change in his attitude toward "niggers" and it seems as though he figures out his moral standpoint. Today in class, we discussed Huck as being this boy who has been taught 2 different views on moral judgements. Pap told him to borrow a chicken when he can and when its needed. While on the other hand, the widow Douglas teaches him that stealing is stealing, no matter the reasoning (page 76). Huck is just trying to figure out who he is, in terms of morality. He feels "sick" when his conscience takes control of him. This "sick" feeling is his morals arising to question his motives and his actions. This is also seen in chapter 27, when the king and duke are selling the imposed family's mother slave "down the river to Orleans" and the two son slaves "up the river to Memphis" (page 196). This scene of hugging and crying displayed by the two parties made Huck "down sick to see" (196). Huck is definitely becoming a loveable character. He is finiding his morality through brutal situations occuring through slave trading, stealing, lying, and killing. His experiences allow him to grow and change his moral views, from the strict black and white, to what may make him feel better as an effect.

  3. Yup we talked about this in class. Although i am not one hundred percent convinced of Hucks real feelings towards the subject. From what we have read i believe that he dislikes this particular hoax because of hates to see the Duke and the King messings with others emotions much like he did to Jimbo, Jimalim, Jimmy crack corn and i dont care.