The Courage Within Huckleberry Finn

In the novel Huckleberry Finn, there are many characters that enact the characteristic Courage. It is about a young boy who runs away from his unhappy, Christian life into the dangers of the Southern wild. Along side him joins a runaway slave, Jim, who sticks by his side in order to go North for freedom. Huck has to deal with his conscious by deciding if the right thing to do is turn Jim in or not.  Huck learns that Jim is a caring man that wants to set his family free from the Slave Owners.  Over the journey Jim explains how Huck is the only white person to listen and treat him as an equal, which makes Huck feel uneasy turning Jim in. They grow a bond that can be entitled, ‘friendship’, because they help each other escape from the societies hands.

The courage that Huck shows is by going against what society tells him. Hucklebery Finn does not like following the rules, and rebels against everything he is told. The biggest insurgent act Huck contradicts is aiding a runaway. He risks his own life to help out a friend even when there is difficulty. “He displays the human virtue of heroism when he decides to free Jim from the clutches of the Phelps family.” (studymode) Just by him going with his gut instinct and not dealing with society means that he is an Upstander. It takes immense amount of self strength to turn your back on society standards. Facing the tough decision whether to help Jim was pressuring Huck. He had to act quick and made a final decision, “All right, I’ll go to Hell! Because as long as I was in, and in for good, I might as well go the whole hog.”(pg 207) A little white boy faced a family of Racist whites and whole heartedly stole his friend back.

Jim illustrates the biggest deed of courage in the book. In the end when Tom Sawyer is wounded from the gunshot, he risks his freedom in order to rush the white boy to a doctor. The doctor was surprised by the Slave’s act of heroism and states, “I never see a nigger that was a better nuss or faithfuler, and yet he was risking his freedom to do it, and was all tired out, too, and I see plain enough he’d been worked main hard lately. I liked the nigger for that.”(page 272) For a white, educated male to state that he found courage in a black slave is very important. It shows that Jim was truly a friend of Huck’s and was willing to give up on what he wanted so badly just to help him. Jim’s honorable move made him receive his freedom.

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