Huckleberry Finn's Morality

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What is morality? Is it what society decides is moral? Is it what God decides is moral? Webster’s Dictionary defines morality as, “a doctrine or system of moral conduct.” People define morality in their own way. Because he realizes that Jim is a human he decides to keep Jim’s escape a secret and lie for Jim, Huckleberry Finn shows that he doesn’t live by society’s morals, but that he creates his own. Even though society’s morals are unethical and do not recognize Jim as a human, Huckleberry acknowledges Jim’s humanity. Huckleberry Finn is set in the 1800s when only white people were viewed as humans, and African-American slaves were viewed as property, so it is a very impactful point in the novel when Huckleberry acknowledges Jim as a human. In a conversation between Huckleberry and Aunt Sally discussing an accident on a boat, Aunt Sally says: “‘Good gracious! Anybody hurt?’”(Twain 279). Huckleberry replies: “‘No'm. Killed a nigger.’”(Twain 279). Then Aunt Sally displays society’s morals when she says: “‘Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt’” (Twain 279). She fails to recognize that an African-American is a person. As the novel continues, Huckleberry Finn demonstrates that he does not live by society’s morals when he acknowledges that Jim is not just a piece of property, but that he is human: “I knowed he was white inside” (Twain 341). In the aforementioned quote, Huck acknowledges that all people are the same on the inside, whether or not they are the same on the outside. By going against society’s belief that African-Americans aren’t human Huckleberry proves that he can create his own morals. The second time Huckleberry Finn shows readers that he creates his own morals is when he agrees to keep Jim’s escape a secret: “‘Well, I did. I said I wouldn’t, and I’ll stick to it. Honest INJUN, I will. People would call me a low-down Abolitionist
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