Homework Help

What are some strong quotes and events that demonstrate Huckleberry Finn's conscience...

user profile pic

kaulitzisme | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 14, 2009 at 6:14 AM via web

dislike 1 like
What are some strong quotes and events that demonstrate Huckleberry Finn's conscience issues?

I need some help finding quotes and events that prove Huck's conscience makes him question what he is doing is right or wrong

(page number's please!)

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 19, 2009 at 9:00 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Huck wrestles with his conscience throughout Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and he often finds it in conflict with his best pal, Tom Sawyer, as well as the runaway slave, Jim.

HELPING A RUNAWAY.  Huck is at odds with his upbringing when he sets off with Jim for Cairo, Illinois. He has been taught that slavery is an acceptable practice and helping Jim to freedom will conflict with this. He also likes Jim and would like to see him happy. But his conscience "got to troubling me so I couldn't rest."

... conscience up and says every time, 'But you knowed he was running for his freedom, and you 'could 'a' paddled ashore and told somebody.'

This conflict--whether to turn Jim in to authorities or not--runs through Huck's mind for most of the novel.

HIDING THE GOLD.  Huck had no problem deciding whether to steal the gold and hide it from the King and the Duke. It was the right thing to do, he decided. But his conscience bothered him so badly that he had to tell Mary Jane the truth.

But here's a case where I'm blest if it don't look to me like the truth is better and actuly safer than a lie.

FOOLING AUNT SALLY.  Huck's decision to pretend to be Tom Sawyer bothers Huck since he comes to appreciate Aunt Sally and her loving hospitality. It even affects his sleep.

I couldn't look her in the face... so I slept very restless... And I wished I could do something for her but I couldn't only to swear that I wouldn't never do nothing to grieve her any more. 

user profile pic

e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:02 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

When Jim is sold into slavery by the King and the Duke, Huck debates the proper course of action. He weighs his loyalties, finding that he owes more to Jim (because he is Jim's only friend) than he does to Miss Watson. 

Huck encounters some true despair at having to choose between friendship and what he sees as the morally proper thing to do. In the end he decides he is willing to go to hell by helping his friend, Jim, stating as much directly. 

But rather than let his "conscience" guide him, Huck listens to his heart, which tells him that Jim is a human being, not property. He turns his back forever on society's ethics and decides he'd rather "go to hell" than turn his back on Jim.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes