The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, is a novel about serious problems and things written in a simple manner. Huck, the main character of the novel and the narrator, is pressed by the social norms and rules and his inner self starts to rebel against these limitations, which arouses inner conflicts in his soul. As far as the story runs further, readers can feel that there is a great conflict between Huck’s conscience and his feelings. He is too young and too weak to listen to his heart and go against the society and be individual and this dissatisfaction makes him move further and resolve these conflicts. Pressure of the society is associated in Huck’s mind with widow Douglas and Miss Watson and floating down the river on the raft he feels free and independent from these two women and the society in general. Huck rejects social norms and at the same time he cannot live without society and that is the reason of the main moral conflict: “Freedom for Huck lies outside the normal boundaries of society, and indeed what he would call freedom, society would call license, moral irresponsibility, a fracture of the social character”¯ (Messent, 92). He is able to resolve this conflict only at the end of the novel.
On the other hand, Huck is torn between two absolutely different groups and ideologies. The first side is presented by the conservative Southerners and the second side consists of the run-away slaves ”“ “the outcasts”¯, as they are called. Huck does not belong to any of these sides and should choose any position. At the very beginning of the book he meets Jim, a run-away slave, and is supposed to report on him. “People would call me a low down Ablitionist and despise me for keeping mum – but that don”²t make no difference. I ain”²t agoing to tell, and I ain”²t agoing back there anyways”¯ (Twain, 48). However, later helping Jim to escape he is sometimes stricken by doubt. It happens the first time when they think they are near Cairo and Jim will soon be free. Huck thinks: “I begun to get it through my head that he was most free – and who was to blame for it? Why, me. I couldn”²t get that out of my conscience, no how nor no way”¯ (Twain, 97). These doubts take place because Huck’s connection and dependence on the society is still too strong. Only later, Huck is able take his own decision and free Jim and solve his moral conflicts.
We can draw a conclusion that Huck changes greatly throughout the novel. He becomes mature and wise in comparison with a young careless teenager at the beginning of the novel. His own experience, an ability to watch and analyze situations around him, communication with Jim and Tom and their comparison allow Huck to solve his inner conflicts and dilemmas. He uses critical thinking and reasoning in order to interpret the situation. At the end of the book he is strong and self-confident, he makes conclusions on his own experience and observations and that is why he is not torn between different positions. Huck does not have to listen to different opinions, doubt them and be unconfident in their reality. Now he has his own opinion, he listens to his heart and knows what to do with his life.