Guilt and Greed in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn .
Society can have a huge impact on an individual's moral growth. Mark Twain uses many characters to show this influence is greater at sometimes than others. This pressure can be good or bad, and can cause an individual to make right or wrong decisions. In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain shows social criticism through guilt and greed. .
Throughout the novel, guilt is one part of society which Huck encounters. While traveling down the Mississippi River, Huck believes he is committing a sin by going against society and protecting Jim. During the adventure, Huck meets some men looking for runaway slaves, and makes up a story about his father being on the raft with smallpox. The men fear catching this disease and instead of rescuing him, they give him money and advise him not to let it be known of his father's sickness when seeking help. After the men leave, Huck says, "I knowed very well I had done wrong, and I see it waren't no use for me to try to learn to do right" (69). This shows how he feels guilty about what he has done and how society makes Huck feel like what he has done is wrong. Huck also feels accountable when he writes a letter to Miss Watson to return Jim, but instead he ends up ripping the letter. Just before Huck tears up the letter, he says to himself, "All right, then, I'll go to hell" (162). This shows how society makes Huck feel like he is a terrible person, and how he believes the community is correct. Huck also feels guilty when he is with the King and Duke, and they steal the money from the three sisters whose dad has just died. This makes Huck feel so bad he steals the money back from the King and Duke and hides it in the coffin so the three sisters would eventually find it. Huck is faced with guilt many times in the novel and does not realize that his own instincts are more morally correct than those around him.