Throughout his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain discusses many themes. The most important theme with in this novel is Huck's struggle between society and his own conscience. Twain shows us what is going on inside of the young boy's head many times within this novel. Although Huck battles with society for long periods of time; and on most occasions, his conscience seems to win the fight, helping Huck choose the right thing.
In order to understand where Huck was coming from with these conflicts we must understand, the author's feelings on slavery. Mark Twain once said:
In those old slave-holding days the whole community
was agreed as to one thing--the awful sacredness of
slave property. To help steal a ...view middle of the document...
.. is not in our remote day realizable.
When Twain was growing up, slavery was a part of his world. Slavery was something that you had to deal with, whether you liked it or not. Twain went against society using the characters in his books, to state his opinion, with out really coming out and saying that he was against slavery.
One of these conflicts occurs when Huck realizes that it is morally wrong for him to be helping a runaway slave. The conflict occurs when Huck tries to decide if he should keeping on helping the runway slave, or if he should turn the slave in. Huck's conscience tells him that he should help the slave, whose name is Jim, whereas society says that if Huck helps a nigger, then he will surely go to hell. But when Huck realizes that Jim has become his friend, he decides that he would rather go to hell the do something to Jim that would hurt him.
Later in the story Jim is turned in by the king and the duke. When Huck finds out he is outraged; after thinking for a while he vows to steal Jim, and help him get to freedom. Again Huck goes against society, by rescuing Jim, Huck is going against everything that society tells him is right.
When Jim is recaptured, Huck is scared and doesn't know what to do. He doesn't want to betray Jim`s friendship, but he also doesn't want the town to know that he was involved in helping Jim escape. In this instance society wins over Huck's conscience, and instead of helping Jim, Huck keeps quiet about his involvement.
Twain's theme of Huck's conscience verses society is repeated many times throughout this novel. Sometimes Huck wins and sometimes society wins. No one can every truly be free of societies influence, and Huck was no exception.