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One of the most interesting characters in literature, Huckleberry Finn is a product of the lowest echelons of white society, and although the attempts of the Widow Douglas to reform him failed, and although he is a fairly independent thinker for one so young, he has, unsurprisingly, absorbed a fair amount of the racist ideals perpetuated by those around hiim. Herein lies the catalyst for his greatest change, however, for as Huck travels the river with Jim, he begins to question what society has always taught him about blacks and slavery. He begins to see Jim not as a black man, or a slave, or a former slave, but as simply a person with thoughts, feelings, and fears--much like himself. Huck is by no means perfect, but by the novel's end, he has learned one of life's unhappier lessons: that which is called "civilized" is often the exact opposite.
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