Natalie Bell Mrs. Myers AP English 2 December 2010 The Road to Maturity “I stood there a-looking at him; he set there a-looking at me, with his chair tilted back a little. I set the candle down. I noticed the window was up; so he had clumb in by the shed.
He kept a-looking me all over” (p28). Throughout a people’s life, there are many individuals that make, shape and influence them into who they will become in the end. Whether it is a parent, a guardian, a teacher, a boss, or friend, those people are influential.In the book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, the conflict and struggles Huck faces with the adults in the novel spurs on his development of self-awareness and maturity. First of all, at the start of the book, Huck is influenced by Miss Watson. She attempts to “civilize” Huck. “She put me in new clothes again, and I couldn’t do nothing but sweat and sweat, and feel all cramped up” (p11-12). The clothes symbolize a sense of imprisonment for Huck.
He is so used to being in rags that are loose on him, that when Miss Watson cleans him up and dresses him in nicer, tighter fitting clothes, he does not feel like himself. After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers… ” Miss Watson is a very religious woman and believes that it is beneficial to Huck that he learn all that he can about religion. There is also hope that he will change from a wild child to a respectable young man. Huck is apposed to his old ways of being a rebel and doing what he wants, but at the same time he wants to become a respectable young man.
Part of him does not like being told what to do, what to wear, and what he should know, but a part of him likes having the attention.He was abandoned by his father, something that most children do not deal well with. So the fact that Miss Watson is taking time to try and fix his faults and care for him make Huck feel wanted by someone. Secondly, Huck’s father is a very important part of his life.
“And looky here-you drop that school, you hear? I’ll learn people to bring up a boy to put on airs over his own father and let on to be better’n what he is. ” Huck’s father is a jealous and cruel man. He does not want Huck to be smarter or more important than himself.This gives Huck a desire to be different than his father and to learn how to read and write. He does not like what his father has turned into, so the fact that he is able to write and read gives Huck a sense of hope.
Hope that he will not turn into his father as he gets older. “By and by he rolled out and jumped up to his feet looking wild, and he see me and went for me. He chased me round and round the place with a clasp knife…” When Huck’s pap gets drunk, he becomes a mad man.
It is these moments that Huck is most scared of his father.He is afraid that his father has lost himself completely and he is also scared for his own life. This is actually somewhat beneficial for Huck. He learns how to protect himself and how to get out of sticky situations.
Lastly, Huck’s life is changes the most because of Jim. “It’s a dead man. Yes, indeed; naked, too. He’s ben shot in de back. I reck’n he’s ben dead two er three days. Come in, Huck, but doan’ look at his face-it’s too gashly. ” Jim is protecting Huck from seeing the dead man and saving Huck from having nightmares.Like Miss Watson, Jim is looking out for Huck’s well-being.
Even though Huck is very curious about who the dead man, he doesn’t make a big deal out of it. He understands that some things are just not meant to be seen, and he respects Jim decision on that. “I tried to make out to myself that I warn’t to blame, because I didn’t run Jim off from his rightful owner; but is warn’t no use, conscience up and says, every time, “But you knowed he was running for freedom, and you could ‘a’ paddled ashore and told somebody. ” Huck is struggling with the decision of turning Jim in or not. Jim is his friend but Jim is also a runaway slave. In the end, Huck goes with what he knows is right, and does not turn Jim in.
This shows that through all he has been through, Huck has grown in maturity.In conclusion, Huck becomes more mature and self-aware by experiencing conflict and going through struggles with the adults in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He was taught how to be a gentleman by Miss Watson, self defense and how to not lose hope on his dreams because of his father and how to be a friend and to respect other’s decisions because of Jim. Each person made him stronger, and helped him find himself.
As spoken by Eleanor Roosevelt, “A mature person is one who is does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably. ”