What are some negative traits about Huck Finn in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer?

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bohemianteacher4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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Huck has a strong need for adventure in the book "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." Huck does not live by the social mores and rules like other people. Therefore, many of the rules, such as stealing or telling lies, do not apply to Huck. Huck will do whatever it takes for him to survive. Huck has no manners and can be rude. He is dirty and unkempt. He does not attend school.

Huck also has the ability to manipulate his peers into getting into mischief. He is adventurous, but his adventures can be dangerous. His impulsive nature makes him both fun and dangerous. Also, Huck has befriended some unsavory characters, although his father has exposed Huck to these people through his environment. 

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bohemianteacher4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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If one were to look at Huck Finn from a modern day perspective one would see that Huck came from a bad environment.  Huck is lower class and has an alcoholic father.  Huck is also mischievous and enjoys playing a good joke on others, although they may not appreciate the joke.  Huck does not follow the conventional rules of his society. He is a rebel. When he is given a chance to change and live with the widow, he runs away.

Huck is also prejudiced and considers Black people inferior.  When he and Jim first travel together, Huck does not look up to Jim. Huck believes himself to be superior to Jim. Huck begins to expand this understanding the more he gets to know Jim. Although Huck considers himself to be Jim’s friend, he has to overcome his view of Blacks as slaves to assist Jim.

Huck is willing to steal what he needs. He is used to surviving by any means. He is also pretty dirty and avoids bathing. Huck is impulsive and can find things to get into easily. However, despite his bad qualities, he is an American favorite because he lives a life free from the restraints of society.

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