In comparison with the book 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" we see the other Huck, the boy who has become older. "His moral development is sharply contrasted to the character of Tom Sawyer1". Huck takes his life much more seriously than Tom does. The great difference between Huck and Tom lays in the fact that Tom continue to be a boy, who does not know any hardship in his life, whereas Huck grows up beneath our very eyes, overcomes a lot of difficulties, and gets his own experience. "The gradual development of Huck's ironic struggle to free himself form the moral hypocrisy, romantic conventions, and racial stereotypes of nineteenth-century America reveals a serious, essential satiric thematic purpose.2"
On reading the book one may observe the contention of conflicting movements in the main character's spirit. On the one hand is the habitual for the people of that time attitude towards slavery and violence, and on the other hand is an instinctive desire to bid defiance to injustice of society. The author displays this contention with a great expressiveness and psychological persuasiveness.
The first great changes happen with Huck when he realizes that his has nobody to care and to protect him. His own father, his only parent, has been constantly drinking. The only time he has really taken an interest in Huck is when he has decided to lay his hands on Huck's wealth. So, there is nothing strange that under such circumstances, Huck grows up very quickly. It is just impossible to remain a naive child, when you have to save yourself from your own father.
"By and by he rolled out and jumped up on his feet looking wild, and he see me and went for me. He chased me round and round the place with a claspknife, calling me the Angel of Death, and saying he would kill me, and then I couldn't come for him no more. I begged, and told him I was only Huck; but he laughed SUCH a screechy laugh, and roared and cussed, and kept on chasing me up. Once when I turned short and dodged under his arm he made a grab and got me by the jacket between my shoulders, and I thought I was gone; but I slid out of the jacket quick as lightning, and saved myself." (Chapter VI)3
On his wandering Jim and Huck meet two hoodlums, one of which masquerades as a King, and the other one plays role of Duck. Jim has had rather romanticized idea of what the nobility is, but Huck ruins his illusion:
"Don't it s'prise you de way dem kings carries on, Huck"
"No," I says, "it don't."
"Why don't it, Huck"
"Well, it don't, because it's in the breed. I reckon they're all alike,"
"But, Huck, dese kings o' ourn is reglar rapscallions; dat's jist what dey is; dey's reglar rapscallions."
"Well, that's what I'm a-saying; all kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out."
"Is dat so"
"You read about them once-you'll see. Look at Henry the Eight; this 'n 's a Sunday-school Superintendent to HIM. And look at Charles Second, and Louis Fourteen, and Louis Fifteen,