Abstract

Abstract:

Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn is morally admirable because he follows his heart and does the right thing in a pinch. Or is he? This essay argues that the standard reading of Huck woefully misunderstands his literary and moral character. The real Huck is strikingly morally passive and thoroughly unreliable, and in a pinch, he fails Jim completely. His true character emerges when, with Iris Murdoch's "justice and love," we attend to Huck's youth and his history of unmitigated abuse and neglect. Huck's case reveals how (and how much) developmental and experiential history matter to moral character.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 125-144
Launched on MUSE
2018-05-19
Open Access
No
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