"The Child by Tiger"

            The idea Miss Watson has of Huck Finn being a dirty, nasty, vulgar little boy who smokes, swears, and stays away from Sunday school is not a justifiable description of him. Huck's character goes much deeper. Huck is a literal-minded, imaginative, trustworthy boy who is greatly impacted by the inhuman ways of society. His society driven conscience is in constant conflict with his free, loyal heart. .

             A mind of the greatest literalness is represented by Huck and what he calls his "conscience”. Huck's conscience is the belief in the inhuman rights of slave owners not to be deprived of their property. Huck's conscience is a portrayal of the moral values of society. The idea of slavery is drilled by society into every one of its members, including the otherwise free tramp like Huck- and the "natural”, human rights of Jim. Huck's heart follows the opposite views of his conscience. .

             Huck has been listening to Jim's excited talk about what he will do when he is free and it has disturbed what Huck calls his conscience. '"Conscience says to me, "What had poor Miss Watson don't to you that you could see her nigger go off right under your eyes and never say one single word? What did that poor women do to you that you could treat her so mean?”' (92) Jim, as a man, has the right to be free. Huck does not realize this because of the views society has instilled in him. Jim has the right to love his wife and yearn for his children. Jim has the determination to work and save up his money and never spend a scent in order to buy his children out of slavery. The final plan he considers, getting "an Ab'litionist to go and steal” (93) his children if their owner refuses to sell them. The consideration of this plan is a shock to Huck's conscience that awakens him to the wickedness of consorting with Jim and helping him run away from the society-conforming Miss Watson. Miss Watson holds Jim in chattel slavery and Huck in the more subtle slavery of civilized conduct.

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