This essay seeks to analyze and discuss the novel ‘’ the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’’. It also seeks to discuss the many aspects and attributes that lead to the growth and development of Huckleberry Finn.

Plot Overview

This is a very unique novel by Mark Twain. The book has a very critical aspect and takes on the slavery hypocrisies. The language and themes used in the book have been seen by many as racist and vulgar. However, this does not affect or prevent people from reading and enjoying the book. This is because such people enjoy the realism of the antislavery concept in the book. The story opens up with the life of a young boy who has a very drunken father. Huck is confined and beaten most of the time. Every time his father returns home drunk, he gets a thorough beating. One day Huck escapes and fakes his own death. He hides in the middle of the Mississippi river.  Huck plans to head westwards in order to avoid or run away from ‘civilization’. According to Huck, civilization would mean school attendance, regular baths and living a normal life. He sees these rules as a hindrance and a part of harsh system that would take away his rights like his father did and render him a slave. This is where the adventures of Huckleberry begin. This marks the beginning of Huck’s growth from childhood into adulthood.

How does Huckleberry grow as a Person?

One of the main changes in the growth and character of Huck Finn is his slavery views. He develops from viewing his friend Jim as a slave and starts to view him as a person and an equal. The author takes the reader through the young boys struggle and journey through trials and towards maturity. Huck grows and develops his character through many different symbols and experiences in the novel. On his journey down the Mississippi River, Huck grows and matures in character and understanding. Huck developed gradually throughout the adventures in the novel. In this case, the Mississippi River is a symbol of Huck’s growth. In the adventures, he goes through life changing experiences. He has to live on the island, he is involved in a fight and a feud between two families, He gets to see things that Dauphin and Duke did among many other people and intervenes to help them out. These experiences help to change Huckleberry’s view of life from a different perspective and thus influence his growth and development. In the beginning, Huck used to get impatient when he lost an argument but as time and the journey progressed he learned to trust and respect Jim. This is because he realized that they had to depend on each other.

Huck even admitted that Jim was not only smart but also a very good person and not a slave. This was a sign of growth and maturity. During the adventure, Huck got lessons from the widow and the environment around him. These lessons taught him how to put his moral values into practice. This simply means that Huck knew the difference between the right and wrong. At times he chose the wrong path by telling lies but he still knew the difference and consequence of his actions. In this way, Huck grew and become smarter each day. At some point in the novel Huck gives smart help to different people that the Duke and Dauphin had tricked. In many instances Huck reflected on the things that Jim had done on his behalf and for him and he would be marveled at them. In this way, every time he made a mistake he become guilty and was ready to make amends and change his ways. This was a sign of growth and the development of the character. Huck eventually grew up or matured and learned how to take responsibility for his own actions and mistakes.

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When there is a break down in the mystery of Tom Sawyer, Huck is mature enough to listen to the prisoner’s escape plans. He however comes up with a better solution to the problem at hand. In the development of the novel, Huck has grown and is still growing in different aspects and levels.

Analysis of Huckleberry’s growth and Development

The journey along the Mississippi River exposes Huck who has a very innocent mind to a judgmental, hostile and hypocritical world. Through the journey the young boy and the slave go through numerous changes and grow in many different aspects. Huck tries to play a trick on Jim but Jim is disappointed at confronts Huck about it. Huck sees sense in this and thus begins his growth from childhood to maturity. The other character in the novel that helps to reform Huck is the widow. The widow teaches him morals and values which he tries to work on during his growth into adulthood.

Growth and development of a child involves understanding the attributes that give light to how people are, how they have been and how they will be in the end. Growth and development depend on the child’s crisis with the parents, the environment around them, their experiences, their peers and the morals and education they are being taught. In Huck’s case, he had a crisis with his father and the experiences, environment and morals on his journey along the Mississippi River have helped him to develop and grow from childhood into adulthood. In the novel, Huck’s journey through the Mississippi River can be likened to Journey to manhood. His experiences on the same can also be termed as a rite of passage. This is evident from his painful transitions, self knowledge which he has gained, his multifaceted life and his experiences. This has definitely been a journey that helped Huck to grow, develop and mature as an individual and find his identity. Through the process of growth Huck has not only learnt how to develop his own values but he also learned most of the moral and society values.

Huckleberry’s growth and development was slow and gradual. At the end of the novel, Huck is not fully matured and continues to grow and mature in many other different aspects and ways. The big question is if this growth and development would have taken place if Huck had not gone on the journey. Well, growth and development would still had occurred but not in the same way (Twain, 2007). Finn grows as a person through the painful experiences, moral teachings from the widow, teachings from Jim and his multifaceted life throughout the adventure. He is able to find his own identity which he was not aware of in the beginning of the novel. Huck’s growth and maturity though slow has taught Huck many life’s lessons that have helped to shape him for the person he would become. There is therefore a very big difference from eh young boy that lived with his drunken father to the young man who has grown from childhood to manhood.


This essay has discussed the moral nature and the negative effects in the novel ‘’ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This essay has discussed the events that led to Huckleberry Finn’s growth and development. It also looks at Huck’s journey as he grows from childhood to adulthood.

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