My analysis Essay on HuckleBerry Finn! And The Red Badge of Courage!!
[Once Asleep, Now Awake!]
Huck, in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, at first "sleeps" through his life by letting society make up his moral compass, while Henry "sleeps" through his life by letting how others think of him dictate how he thinks of himself. Both through many different situations awaken. Originally Huck goes along with the idea that slavery is good, and struggles to find out what he thinks of it. Henry is only going to war to have other people think of him as a hero, and he hopes that it will give him happiness, and fulfillment in life. At last with all the struggle, fight, and newfound knowledge both of them reject their own status quo and find their profound realizations.
Morally, Huck is confused, asleep, in the beginning, it's hard to let go of “common truths”, the lies that have been fed to him. Society in early 1800s South believes that black people are worth less than white people. The book of Huckleberry Finn began with Huck being “asleep” to the truth. Running away from his drunken father Huck bumps into Jim and have all sorts of adventures together, grows close together but, he always comes very close to ratting him out. In Huck's mind there’s this tension, on one side he believes the “ethical” thing to do is to turn Jim in and he actually calls it his “conscience”. On the other side is he finds a good friend, and a strong, kind father figure. He struggles with this throughout the book on which side he should choose. The social order of the South caused Huck to sleep through some of their life, but with enough time, and crucial moments he finally awakens to the truth.
Henry, from the Red Badge of Courage, is directionless, no inner goal, or inspiration he’s only worried about how others view him, and that is how he views himself. He decides to join the army so others will see him as “brave” and as a “hero”. His first time in battle he fights, but in the confederates, the second charge in he flees, all the while convincing himself that the other soldiers were fools who should have. Eventually, he comes back and realizes the union won that battle. Walking along the battlefield he finds dying soldiers, and “envies them” wishing he could have their “Red Badge of Courage”. And after he begins to wake up from his metaphorical “sleep”. Slowly finding that it’s not about how people perceive him, it’s about how he’s viewing himself and following his intuition. From the start, Henry is asleep to his direction in life, only worried about his own life, and others perception of him, but later realizes there's more to that.
Huck and Henry finally awaken to the truth, and their own light through the whole journey but specifically from a few crucial points. At one point during Huck’s journey he learns that men are trying to hunt him for a reward, instead of turning Jim in he says “Git up and humps yourself, Jim! There ain’t a minute to lose. They’re after us!” That us is important because instead of it just being Jim’s problem Huck decides to help Jim, making that situation both of their journey. Chapter 16 after knowing that Jim wants to be free and free his wife and children, Huck writes a letter to his mistress about it. After much contemplation and arguing with himself thinking that he might go to actual hell if he helps Jim, and tears up the letter! ““All right then, I’ll go to hell”—and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they were said. And I let them stay said, and never thought no more about reforming.”. This marked the point where Huck had awoken and found his real truth and conscience. While Henry awakens from finally going back to battle and deciding that it wasn't about other people perception of him and he fought more heroically than ever before. "As he faces the threat of the advancing troops, Henry loses his sense of being alone, miserable outcast and begins to conceive of himself as a single cog in a machine. The battle overshadows his individuality by making him one with his fellow soldiers, just as the instinct to fight overcomes his timid, intellectual musings.". Henry and, Huck both go on a journey and not only through it but with their crucial events, they awaken from their sleep.
Henry from The Red Badge of Courage learns a lot about following his own self, while Huck actually has almost the same realization. While Huck was morally finding the truth for himself about racism, Henry’s was finding what it means to follow his own intuition. Both of these characters are similar in their new-found understands. With each part of the journey they slowly yet surely wake up, but especially in their pivotal moments that decision cause their character to grow tremendously. Huck, and Henry, through many situations, find their own self-truth and profound realizations.
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