Huck's Moral Crisis: Huckleberry Finn Part 4


Unlike the typical dramatic climax found in many works of great literature, the climax of Huckleberry Finn is a moral one. Huck must confront the question of Jim’s humanity. Is Jim merely property, as the laws of society dictate, or is he a human being equal to every other, as Huck’s experience with him on the Mississippi had shown?


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Benedict J. Whalen is assistant professor of English at Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from the University of Dallas and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He teaches courses on a variety of topics, including the great books, Shakespeare, the metaphysical poets, and 19th century American literature. A recipient of the Rogers Fellowship at UNLV and the Weaver Fellowship from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, he is the book reviews editor for the Ben Jonson Journal.