Samuel L. Clemens, or as many people know him by, Mark
Twain, was a very avid writer in the ways he showed his emotions throughout
every piece of work. His very first works were published in a local newspaper
which was edited by his brother. His inspiration for writing came from his
mother who was known as a fine storyteller. He grew up watching and listening
to slaves who worked on his uncle’s farm which encouraged him to show his experiences
though his literary works. He also later received an apprenticeship which helped
him publish some of his most famous works.
Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) is a novel about the
relationship between an African American slave, Jim, and a young white boy,
Huck as they travel down the Mississippi River. The story starts with Huck
escaping his hometown to seek adventure while aiding a slave named Jim to
freedom. After Huck impersonates his death and encountering Jim, he promises
not to tell that Jim is a runaway slave. During this quest, Huck portrays the
leadership role to help Jim to freedom. Twain uses the concept of archetypal
hero to show how Huck is Jim’s unwilling hero throughout the story.
While Huck and Jim are on their quest down
the Mississippi River, Huck is always setting out to do the right thing which
makes him Jim’s unwilling hero. Huck, who is very hesitant to show his hero
qualities throughout the whole novel, puts lots of thought into his actions.
The river in the story is like the “heavens” for the characters while Huck and
Jim portray the “wilderness” role. Huck faced many challenges along the way
that assisted him in finding freedom for Jim and always tried to do the right
thing for Jim. Shortly after Tom and Huck had scared Jim, Tom whispered that he
wanted to “tie Jim to a tree” as a joke.
began to feel guilty about what he had done to Jim and did not want to cause
any harm to Jim. While Huck pressures himself for doing the wrong thing, while
his instinct pushes him to do the right thing which portrays the unwilling hero
in him again. Another instance when Huck helped himself and Jim get farther
down the river, Huck said: “I won’t let no runaway niggers get by me if I can
help it.” During these instances, Huck
tries to convince himself that he was actually doing the right thing by helping
They went off and I got aboard the raft, feeling bad and
low; because I knowed very well I had done wrong, and see If warn;t no use for
me to try to learn to do right… then I thought a minute, and says to myself,
hold on; s’pose you’d ‘a’ done right and giver Jim up, would you felt better than
what you do now? No says I, what’s the use you ain’t no trouble to do
Huck began to feel guilty about lying for
having Jim on the raft with him which was illegal and
had trouble with himself trying to see the
good in what he had done for Jim.