Mar 7, 2019
Huck Finn: An Evaluation of Right versus Wrong
Thoroughly analyzing the Aunt Sally scene in Huckleberry Finn is detrimental to understanding hypocritical themes throughout the novel regarding slavery and human rights in the South. In this scene, Huck and Jim get into a quarrel and Huck runs away. Returning to the raft, he realizes that his friend Jim is nowhere to be found. Huck does some investigating, and finds that Jim has been sold, leaving Huck disheartened and wretched. He questions a local con man on Jim’s whereabouts and to whom Jim was sold. Huck finds that Jim was on a farm belonging to Silas Phelps, and immediately decides he is going to set out and free Jim. Upon arriving to the Phelps’ farm, Huck runs into Aunt Sally- Tom Sawyer’s aunt. She believes that Huck is Tom, and questions him about how he arrived there. Realizing this, and striving not to arouse any suspicion, Huck plays the part swimmingly.
“What’s kep’ you? – boat get aground?”
“It warn’t the grounding- that didn’t keep us back but a little. We blowed out a cylinder head.”
“Good gracious! Anybody hurt?”
“No’m. Killed a nigger.”
“Well it’s lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt…”(Twain 352)
Twain continuously uses the word “nigger” as a gateway to show that Huck cannot escape the racist influence that surrounds him. Aunt Sally is known by some as lovable, and genuine- yet there’s no empathy for the death of a slave, or any black person for that matter. This poses a serious question… How can a true Christian woman- who practices religion to better herself- not understand the cruelty and hurt a slave must feel when they know their life is not valued? Twain adds these elements to the book to help the audience understand that although Aunt Sally and other white characters in Huck Finn may not be bad people, these hypocritical and contradicting ways of thought do not coincide. Frederick Douglass further reveals these thoughts stating, “killing a slave, or any other colored person, is not treated as a crime, either by the courts or the community… It was a common saying among little white boys, that it was worth a half-cent...