How do I describe Huckleberry Finn?


Quick Answer

Some words to describe Huckleberry Finn are literal, pragmatic, conscientious and humorous. He is also described as non-judgmental, adaptable, cunning, logical, playful and inventive. His ultimate decision to reject the laws of his society by helping a slave, Jim, to escape, marks his emergence as a hero.

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Full Answer

As the narrator of the story, there is a great deal of Huckleberry Finn characterizing himself through his thoughts. This shows that he plainly accepts and observes what is going on in the world around him. He accepts the Christian doctrine of "love thy neighbor" but fails to see how that doctrine is being violated in society through the institution of slavery. This shows that Huck is naive in a teenage way, only able to see one dimension of a question at a time.

The tension between Huck's belief in the values that other people present to him and the values that he experiences through his own feelings propel him deeper into a crisis of conscience. Because he believes his society's customs are just, including slavery, he considers himself a traitor for helping a slave escape. However, the fact that he does it anyway shows him resolving the tension by choosing in favor of his conscience.

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