Abraham, Huck Finn, and Tests

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 7.31.48 PMThe world seems almost too eager to throw tests at us sometimes. Will we always do what is right? Can we always do what is right? After looking at the test Abraham encountered when he had the choice to either obey God and kill his son or disobey God, I am reminded of a similar scene in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Huck has to face the decision of turning in Jim, his best friend, or making what he saw as the morally wrong decision and letting Jim walk free. He is forced like Abraham to choose between morality and a person he values. Both choose the more difficult option. The difference being that for each one of them the harder option was different.

Abraham puts his faith in God, and given that the Bible is a religious text his reaction makes sense. He trusts that God would not tell him to do something wrong. If God commands it his son must die. Huck, on the other hand, chooses Jim and accepts the consequences. He wrote a letter to Mrs. Watson telling him about Jim and he is prepared to do what he sees as the right thing. He says that after writing that letter he feels free of sin for the first time. But he hesitates and thinks about Jim and what he is going to do and says, “All right, then, I’ll go to hell.” He sees his decision as immoral and wrong but does it anyway because he sees keeping Jim free as worth the negative consequences, worth going to Hell.

Both tests reflect the message that their story is trying to convey. Abraham’s trust in God should be absolute and Huck’s that the freedom of an African American man can be worth going to Hell for. Both are setting an example by the choice they made during their tests, which in Literature is generally the point of testing a character. To set an example for how we should choose in our own tests.

This entry was posted in Biblical Allusions, English III Honors, Honors English III and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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