In Huckleberry Finn, what epiphany does Huck have in Chp. 23 that advances his inner conflict? What theme is addressed?
In this chapter, Huck, Jim, the Duke and the Dauphin are escaping after ripping off a town with their fake performances. As the two crooks are sleeping, Jim is on the raft moaning and groaning, and Huck realizes that he misses his family. Jim shares a story about hitting his daughter when she did not deserve it because he told her to shut the door, and the little girl didn't hear him because scarlet fever had left her deaf. Huck's epiphany is that he realizes that Blacks can love their families as much as Whites. He also realizes that Jim is much more noble than most of the Whites with whom he and Jim have come into contact and this increases his inner conflict because he still remembers that Jim is a runaway slave and that he, Huck, is helping Jim escape. Once again, Huck has a guilty conscience with regard to Jim.
The themes addressed are racism and conscience, Huck's continual conflict. Huck is learning that racism is wrong and his guilty conscience is teaching him this lesson the more time he spends with Jim.