Huck Finn is symbolic of the free-thinking individuals that each of us has the potential to be. He is not a puppet of society but is his own person who, rightly or wrongly, makes his own decisions on how to act in every situation. This is also what causes much of the conflict within the novel, as Huck is unwilling to conform to how society believes he should act and this causes conflict throughout the novel and it is said, “ what's the use you learning to do right when it's troublesome to do right and ain't no trouble to do wrong, ” (Twain, 2005, 85) which shows that Huck does not understand why things are the way they are, Emma, like Huck Finn, is characterized as an independent thinker who does not wish to live her life constrained by doing what society thinks she should do, as she says, “ a woman cannot have too many resources and I feel very thankful that I have so many myself as to be quite independent of society” (Austen, 2003, 275), which is the source of much of the conflict in this novel.
Emma, quite often, looks at a situation from her own point of view and no other and then is very quick to impose her own will on the other characters, which is a stark contrast to Huck because he is only worried about his own actions and not about affecting other people. Harriet is especially affected by Emma’ s actions, as she is more suited to marrying a farmer than the men that Emma believes she should, as “ she particularly led Harriet to talk more of Mr.
Martin” (Austen, 2003, 22). Emma’ s behavior causes conflicts throughout this novel because she is so used to having everything her own way that she finds is very difficult to look at things from another perspective, which means that she also does not conform to the expectations that society has of her, which is a prevalent theme in this novel as well. The main difference between herself and Huck is that Huck learned to think for himself because he questioned the things that he had been taught, while Emma had simply always had things just the way she liked them and was unwilling to change this vanity for anyone.
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