Best Intentions? Can people’s best intentions be good enough for you? Is right for people to try to chose your path for you? In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, the main character Huck goes through a long journey, using his experience to mature and grow as a person. Huck travels with the African American former slave Jim all over the Mississippi river in hope to get to a anti-slavery state, but they go through a lot of problems heading the wrong way and deeper into the southern states.
Throughout the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there are characters who have the best intention to help Huck but it is not the best thing for him. The widow tries to “sivilize” Huck, the new judge tries to improve Pap’s moral condition to better him for Huck, and the Phelps family tells Huck to “do the right thing” and return Jim to his owners. There are characters who have the best intentions for Huck but they are not the best thing for him. The widow wants to “sivilize” Huck, and she wants to teach him manners under a very religious view. Huck says, “The widow rung a bell for super, and you had to come to time.
When you got to the table you couldn’t go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn’t really anything the matter with them” (p. 1-2). The widow makes Huck come on time to eat supper and he has to wait after she says grace for the food they are about to eat. The widow tries to make Huck let go of bad habits, so he can fit into civilization. Huck says, “Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she wouldn’t. She said it was a mean practice and wasn’t clean, and I must try to not do it anymore” (p. 2).
The widow tells Huck that he shouldn’t smoke anymore because its a bad thing. The widow tries to “sivilize” Huck in a religious way and also by telling what is wrong and right. There are characters in the novel who have good intentions to help Huck but it isn’t the best thing for him. The new judge in town tries to fix Pap’s moral condition so he could be a better father to Huck. Huck says, “the new judge said he was going to make a man of him. So he took him to his own house, and dressed him up clean and nice, and had him to breakfast and dinner and supper with the family, and was just old pie to him, so to speak” (p. 6). The new judge didn’t know who Pap was at first and he decided to take him in, in order to make him a better man and to be ok with himself so he can be a better father to Huck. But that back fired on the judge, Pap just ended up back in the street and drinking once again.
Huck says, “they tucked the old man into a beautiful room, which was the spare room, and in the night sometime he got powerful thirsty and clumb out into the porch-roof and slid down a stanchion and a good old time; and towards daylight he crawled out again, drunk as a fiddler” (p. 7). Pap sneaked out of the house just to go get drunk and would sneak back in. The new judge wanted to change Pap’s moral ways and he wanted Pap to improve in order to be a better person and a better father, but it did not work out. There are characters who try to do the best things for Huck but they never really are what he needs. Aunt Sally keeps Jim away from Huck. Aunt Sally says, “the runaway nigger… they’ve got him back, safe and sound, and he’s in that cabin again, on bread and water, and loaded down with chains, till he is claimed or sold! (p. 217).
Huck tries to steal Jim back from Aunt Sally but she captures him again and keeps him. Aunt Sally wants to adopt Huck in order to “sivilize” him. Huck says, “I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilze me and I can’t stand it. I been there before” (p. 220). Huck doesn’t want to be civilized, he went through a lot and experienced that civilization is just not good for him, so he can’t stand it.
Huck is kept away from Jim when Jim is captured by Aunt Sally which makes it difficult for Huck to be on his own and Huck doesn’t want to get adopted by Aunt Sally. Throughout the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there are characters who have the best intention to help Huck but it is not the best thing for him. The widow tries to “sivilize” Huck, the new judge tries to improve Pap’s moral condition to better him for Huck, and Aunt Sally keeps Jim away from Huck and she wants to adopt Huck. But none of those characters intentions helped or worked for Huck. It was up to Huck to chose his own path.
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