In all books, long as well as short, there is a character that stands above the rest. This character must demonstrate high moral character and set an example for the rest of the novels cast. Another name for this super being, is a hero, a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities (Webster). In Twains novel, Huckleberry Finn, it is evident that Huck is the hero of the novel. Throughout this book, Huck demonstrates the epitome of heroism, for the attitude that he posses, as well as his actions and willingness to change. Huck can be called a hero for a great number or reasons throughout the book.
In every chapter we notice little things that point in the favor of Huck being one. Huck does things that only one with good morals and a good heart would condone. Huck was brought from a abusive family and it did not hold him back. Huck expresses himself as a true transindentalist, he tries to break from the corruption of society and conformity. By the way he cares for poor Jim he shows the highest mindset in Twain's novel. Huck is the only one who can put the fact of racial times and culture behind him.
Although exposed too the greatest amount of corruption, Huck is the purest character in the book. From the beginning of the novel, one can observe the inner strength of young Huck. Huck was a "beaten and bruised" child, coming from a family where the only guidance that the boy had was from his drunken Pap (Dyn os 13). Due to a lack of leadership to follow in, Huck was forced to raise himself. It takes a strong character to raise oneself (18), and Huck did one hell of a job doing it. Children gain much of who they are from how they were brought up, during this critical period children can be made or broken.
Huck is the exception, he had nobody to look up to or imitate, instead he did as what he felt the right thing to do. Huck didn't know everything there was to learn, but he did try. If he did not know what or why something happens, he created a logical explanation and that was that. For example, we can see Huck's superstition throughout the book, he uses this because of one reason, it works for him. If the shoe fits, then by god, wear it.
Many people easily fall into corrupt things, such as conformity. One can test the strength of a mind by observing its ability to retain pureness. Huck is exposed to many evil ideas and ways of living. Although it seems to the reader that he has fallen into these ideas, Huck proves everyone wrong. When Huck lives with the widow, he is not allowed to swear, the widow is trying to straighten Huck out and this is one thing that must go. As one would think, being in a household where profanity was abolished would create clean language for Huck.
As we see in chapter six, "I had stopped cussing because the widow didn't like it, but now I took to it again, because Pap hadn't no objection" (Twain 75), Huck does not conform to society or the widows way of living. He has a free mind and all he wants to do, is feel it. In the beginning of the novel the widow explains to Huck about prayer and being one with Jesus. Although Huck's religion is also known as superstition, he once again, pleases the widow.
Huck tried this prayer nonsense, "Miss Watson she took me in the closet and prayed, but nothing came out" (60), with no luck. Huck isn't a rebel, he will try anything once, if its not for him, then that's fine because there are always alternatives. Although Huck mocks society, he does try out these conformities of humans. All hero's have one major hurtle to jump over, Huck is no different (Bellamy 98).
Although free from most corruption and conformities Huck's battle with racism was his greatest victory. At the beginning of this book, we noticed the weakness of all Twains characters; race. To the society that Huck was born and raised in, black people were no more than animals. Due to the little travel that Huck encounters before the book takes place, Huck is subjected to only racism and has no other focal point in his life to decide whether it is wrong. Right off the bat, Huck and Jim the slave, have a bond together. They couldn't have met at a better time, both were at a point in there life where they needed change and were both running from something, whether it be slavery to freedom or abusiveness to freedom, both sought freedom.
Due to the events that had occurred in the past few weeks in Jim and Huck's life, this is when they were most vulnerable. This is very important to note, because Huck not have been so willing to open up and accept this black man if he were not in the state that he was. When Huck first sees Jim, he is rather hesitant to accept him, but as time goes on and Huck escapes from his father, the bonding starts. We soon see Huck appreciating Jim, "I know'd he was white inside" (Twain 47) claims Huck.
Saying that Jim is white inside is Huck's way of making him on the same level as this run away slave, think about it, how can one respect another if you put them a level below you. Through their journey, Jim becomes a father towards Huck, and Huck accepts Jim as a mentor and companion. Huck in my eyes is a hero for this, he dared to do something out of the ordinary, and what do you know, he was right. Although we the reader see the goodness in Huck, Huck felt guilty about the whole freeing a slave notion. Its ironic how Huck felt terrible about doing one of the greatest deeds committed. In the next few chapters Huck hears about how Jim wants to free his family and Huck is absolutely appalled, thinking that he could start a whole revolution of freeing slaves.
Therefore Huck composes a letter to Mrs. Watson, apologizing for the crime that he committed, the only thing that stops Huck from sending this letter, is himself. When Jim gloats he has the greatest friend and how much he loves Huck, Huck can only feel the sorrow of what Jims fate would be if the letter was sent. At this point Huck is one hundred percent ready and his mind is made up he doesn't care, "well then ill go to hell" (56), exclaims Huck as he stands his ground.
It is obvious that Huck is the hero of Huckleberry Finn, for many reasons. Huck's commitment to good morals and a strong person make him an unforgettable character. By not giving in and standing his ground Huck remains pure in thoughts. The way he treats others and causes no harm to other beings makes him pure in actions. Huck could have been 180 degrees different due to all the things he was put through as a child and young adult, but no. Huck realized his parents mistakes as well as the mistakes in society as many people do today, the thing that makes him a hero, is Huck did something to change them and that takes pure heroism..