The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the main character finds himself living in asociety that does not suit him. Everywhere he looks there are people who valuethings that he sees as meaningless. Huck Finn feels trapped and begins hisjourney down the river in an effort to find someone or some place that willbring him happiness. Almost immediatly he finds this person in the form a runaway slave. In this story, Huck and Jim are against the entire world, and everyperson they come in contact with has the potential to destroy their plans ofhappiness and freedom.
Under these circumstances Huck is forced to tell manylies, but the only one he regrets is the one that he tells Jim. The biggest andmost harmful lie Huck tells is when he fakes his own murder in his fathersshack. He goes through a great deal of trouble to make sure that people believethat he is dead, and it is not until the end of the novel that it becomes knownto the people of his home town that he is actually alive. He had been a likableyoung boy, and people in the town had thought highly of him.Order now
This is evidentfrom his relationship with adults like the widow and the judge. Jim even tellshim ÒIÕuz powerful sorry youÕs killed, Huck, but I ainÕtno mo, nowÓ. (1292) Based on HuckÕs consistent concern for others,it is likely that he would have written home to inform them that he was stillalive if it had not been for his situation with Jim. However, he does not wantto risk doing anything that might get Jim captured, so he writes no letter.
Huckfinds himself working against the world. He is not an immature boy that tellslies just for the sake of doing so, but rather he tells them in order to protecthimself and also Jim. In the instance where he dresses up like a girl and speakswith the farmerÕs wife in an effort to find out what is being said abouttheir situation, the information that he gets ultimately saves them from thecapture of a building search party. Even though he is caught in the first lieand it is discovered that he is actually a young boy rather than a girl, Huckmanages to convince the woman that he simply a run away.
He quickly creates anew lie and better lie, and she has no idea about his true identity. In thisinstance of lies that Huck tells there is no victim. Huck learns crucialinformation that he would have never gotten through honesty, and with thisinformation he is able to continue on his journey with Jim. Another one ofHuck’s lies is one that he tells to the watchman on the on the steam ship. Heknows that this man is the only person who can help the group of murders thatwere soon going to drown in the river. Under the circumstances, Huck could nottell the man the truth because he had stolen their boat to save JimÕs andhis own life, Jim would have been danger of being captured, and most lily thewatchman would have not bothered to go save a band of murders.
Since the truthwas not an option, Huck creates an elaborate story of women in distress, andreward money. After all is done, in reflection on his actions Huck says ÒIwas feeling ruther comfortable on accounts of taking all of the trouble for thatgang, for not many would a done it. Ó(1311) He clearly believes here thathe has done a good thing in telling that lie. He knows that he saved these menÕslives, and he would not have been able to do so with the truth. The one lie thatHuck clearly regrets telling is the one that he tells to Jim. After theiraccidental separation, Huck returns to the raft and acts as though he hasnÕtbeen gone.
Huck goes on to claim that Jim imaged the entire thing. In responseto JimÕs delight in seeing Huck alive and well Huck says, ÒWhat isthe matter with you Jim? You been a drinking?Ó(1316) Jim asks Huck to lookhim in the eye and say that he had not been gone anywhere, and Huck does as heasks. Jim soon realizes that Huck is not telling him the truth. Jim says to HuckÒen trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey frenÕsen makes Ôem ashamed.
Ó(1318) This makes Huck feel terrible and afterapologizing to Jim he claims that he would have never had done it if he hadknown how it would have made him feel. The above are not the only lies that Hucktells in this story. He is actually quite good at telling lies and he continuesto tell them up unitl the end of the story, but what the majority of Huck’s lieshave in common is that they protect both him and Jim from the society ofsoutherners that he has turned his back on. Huck chooses to follow what he feelsin his heart rather that what he has been taught by those around him.
The lieshe tells are told so that he can continue in his search for happiness, truth,and freedom. For the most part HuckÕs lies are morally good which seemslike a contradiction. Ironically, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ends withHuckÕs salutation of ÒYours TrulyÓ. The fact is that Clemensuses HuckÕs morally sound lies as a reflectionon the true nature ofAmerican society during the time of slavery.