A review of Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn”, illustrating how lying and faking helps Huck to survive.
Huck Finn Many would say that Huck Finn is a very troubled young boy. He was brought up by his father deep in the woods just off the Mississippi River. His father strongly disliked society therefore he lived as far as possible from it. Huck’s dad brought Huck up the hard way without a mother and instilled many of his beliefs into Huck. His dad lied constantly and was always drunk, his favorite saying was “I’m not stealing it I’m just borrowing it”. Huck’s dad borrowed many things and lied his way out of many situations. He passed some of these bad habits onto Huck which leads to my thesis that, Huck often finds himself in tight predicaments and being brought up the way he was, taught that lying and stealing aren’t wrong, proved very useful in getting him out of many of these predicaments. Because Huck’s father brought him up to be such a great liar and a stealer Huck has been able to escape from many close calls. One instance in which Huck wriggles himself out of trouble is when he and Jim, the runaway slave are traveling down river on the raft. Huck while off on a little excursion in his canoe runs into two men running away from some angry villagers and their dogs. When they plead and beg for Huck to save him and he finally accepts they are very gracious. When they arrive on the raft and notice that Jim is a black slave they inquire about him. They ask Huck if he’s a runaway slave and they seem interested in selling him for a good price. Huck being the great thinker he is argues, “why would a slave be going south?”. That really stumps the two men and they leave it at that. It is instances like these where Huck is able to think quickly and lie his way out of situations that makes him able to survive on his own. Another instance which I can remember clearly is when Huck fakes his death in the very beginning of the book. When Huck is brought to live with his father he quickly sees how horrible of a life he would have with his drunken father. So in order to escape from his fathers drunken grasps he must concoct some plan to keep his father away from him for good. One day when his father is off across the river Huck cuts his way out of the back of the cabin using a make sift saw. He then hunts down a pig, slits it throat and smears the blood all over the walls of the cabin and the tip of an ax. He even takes a sack of cornmeal and drags it down a trail with a small leak in it so that it leaves a trail. Huck then takes off down river, free at last. Not many people would have the intelligence to fake their death as Huck did. Huck didn’t forget a detail and was very successful. Huck survives by lying and faking his way through the south. Yet another example of this is when Huck gets separated from Jim and wanders to the shore. He runs into a family called the Grangerfords. Huck is so clever he lies to them and says his name is George Jaxon. The family believes them and Huck makes up this big story about who he is and where he’s from and its so good that it fools all of the family. He even asks Buck to see if he can spell His name, he does and spells it “George Jaxon”, of course Huck only does this to make sure he can spell his own name if he has to for some reason. Even another instance when Huck gets out of a situation that could turn awfully bad is when he and Jim are floating down stream on a raft and Huck decides to go out for a little canoe ride to check out the surroundings. On the way out Huck runs into a group of men on a raft inquiring about his raft and whose on it. Just as you think Huck is a s good as dead he comes up with this wild story. He says that his father and mother and family are aboard the raft and they have come from up north on the river. Huck claims that they have a serious case of the mumps. He describes it as some kind of mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever, virus and its very contagious. He asks the men for help but they say they are very busy. Huck is so convincing that he gets the men to leave and never look back. Huck seems to have the extraordinary ability to make up the most bizarre stories and lie his way out of even the hairiest situation. There are even more examples which I can use to back up my theory. Nearing the end of the book Huck loses Jim. It seems the King and the Duke have taken him to a town and were preparing to sell him. Huck hears of this and travels to the town. He is inquires about Jim and a townsman says that he has seen the slave and two men walking north into town. Huck goes into town and is surprisingly greeted by and older woman walking down her driveway. She is so happy to see him for some reason so Huck just plays along. Later after everything calms down Huck finds out that his real identity is Tom Sawyer and he is supposed to be coming from town to see his aunt. So Huck just goes along with it. He knows that Tom Sawyer will be arriving soon and goes to intercept him. When he meets up with him and tells him about what happened and how he really isn’t dead and how he’s trying to free Jim, Tom agrees to try and help to free Jim. Huck and tom concoct a great plan, Tom will be Toms brother Sid and Huck will be Tom and they will work to free Jim. Well they go along with their plan and it is successful in freeing Jim, well almost. When Huck and Tom free Jim they are running away and Tom gets shot in the leg by a villager hoping to catch them. When Huck and Tom head out on the river with Jim they realize that Huck needs a doctor immediately if he is going to live. So Huck goes back to town to find a doctor. And what does Huck do when he finds a doctor, he makes up a story and says he was hunting with his brother off across the river and accidentally shot his brother in the leg. He totally lies his way around the truth, but it works and the doctor believes him. Later on the truth is discovered and Jim is set free. Because Huck was brought up in an environment where he saw lying and stealing almost all the time and almost became accustomed to it, Huck himself became a liar and a stealer too. It may not have been to the extent to which his drunk father was but he was a definite liar and a stealer. Although he may have had some bad habits he wasn’t really a bad kid, Huck often found himself in situations where the only two choices were to lie or get hung. It was however because of the way he was brought up that enabled him to get out of those situations and escape being hanged. Huck was brought up a liar and always would be a liar no matter how hard he tried, these had become his natural instincts along with staying alive. So if Huck’s father had not brought him up the way he had and Huck had lived a proper life, a civilized one, then I do not believe that Huck would be able to survive one day in the awful cruel world he lived in. Because his father brought him up tough and strong, and defiant he survived. If he had been any different then he wouldn’t have been bale to get Jim to freedom or live the great adventures which he did.