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contrast of huckfin and tom

            "I divide the world into learners and nonlearners. There are people who learn, who are open to what happens around them, who listen, who hear the lessons. When they do something stupid, they don't do it again. And when they do something that works a little bit, they do it even better and harder the next time. The question to ask is not whether you are a success or a failure, but whether you are a learner or a nonlearner."-Benjamin Barber. Could one say that Huck Finn in, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, is a "learner"? It's not coincidence that Huck, a lower-class uneducated adolescent, bares more education on life and happiness than that of Tom Sawyer, an upper class educated adolescent. Tom Sawyer may be educated, but the question to ask is has he learned anything useful from it? Tom is revealed as a "nonlearner" throughout the novel. This conclusion insinuates that Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are merely complete opposites. One can clearly make the conclusion that the differences between Huck and Tom are quite evident.
             Huckleberry Finn, though not always so quick on the uptake, knew what he wanted in life, knew what made him happy, and knew, despite his lack of education or a "civilized" upbringing, what would and would not get him killed. Huck couldn't read very well, but he had a handle on the basics in life. Finn knew right from wrong, left from right, and that he should do right by his friends. Finn never had a mother to encourage him; and he never had a religion to teach him morality. Huck just knew instinctively what life was all about and wanted to live it as it came. Finn knew happiness, and he knew peace.
             Tom Sawyer, upper class and uninhibited in the realization of his every random desire, constantly found himself flirting with his own mortality on a regular basis. Tom Sawyer could read. Sawyer had free reign of his life from the time he was born, and Twain clearly shows how such unrestricted liberty adversely affected Tom's perception of the world around him.

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