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Throughout our life we as individuals and as collectivist groups encounter numerous
obstacles and belief systems that inhibit the well-being of others. These belief systems, or ideals,
are commonly viewed as ‘evil’ due to the nature of the ideal itself. Such ideals we encounter
include but are not secluded to: racism, materialism, sexism. The common motivation behind
each of these ideals lies in man’s inherent imperfection of self-centeredness. It is human nature
for man to seek what is best for him and achieve that objective at all costs and with total
disregard of all others. Some express this concept with the phrase, ‘Survival of the Fittest.’ Man
cannot help but to desire his overall benefit and is willing to go about any means to achieve that
end. This is where moral issues become a factor; for in order for something to be morally sound,
the end must justify the means. In other words, if an immoral means is executed in order to attain
a moral end, the act itself is immoral. One very well-known immoral ideal we have seen
throughout history is racism and the institution of slavery. Another common concept seen
throughout history is the manipulation man institutes on others for his benefit by means of the
Seven Deadly Sins. We see both of these examples, slavery and manipulation in the respective
novels of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by
Mark Twain. These popular literary works share the common theme that man’s nature is
inherently evil as man seeks the advancement of himself at the expense of his contemporaries
and therefore vulnerable to sins such as those listed as The Seven Deadly Sins.
To begin with, as referenced before the inherent nature of man is to achieve what is best
for his own good. From the campaigns of Alexander the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte to the
slaveholders of the Confederate Southern United States, we see factual evidence in man’s
attempt to control land, have servants, attain wealth, and be a dominant force in society and
politics. When the colonies were first becoming established, slavery gained its foothold in

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American society. The reason the Europeans immigrated to the America’s was exactly for the
purpose of attaining wealth in an uncultivated and unclaimed land. They were commonly the
servants and peasants of the European world and wished for a new life in the ‘New World’ with
land of their own. This follows man’s nature of seeking what is best for him at all costs as these
colonists risked disease, danger, and death in making the trans-Atlantic voyage to America. In
the New World, the South in particular, the land was ideal for cultivating food crops and cash
crops. Among the highest in demand of the cash crops was cotton and slave labor came cheap.
This fateful combination is elaborated in the Issues & Controversies Encyclopedia, “Climatic
conditions in the South were most conducive to growing the crops best suited to slave labor. The
demand for cheap labor to raise cotton, the principal southern crop, caused a great increase in the
number of slaves in the South.” The white European man, particularly in the colonies, perceived
the African race to be inferior due to the dark complexion of their skin. This along with religious
reasons, to be discussed later, justified the enslavement of the African race in the American South
and around the world. As seen in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the character Augustine St. Clare expresses
the common view of the African race, “The fact is, that the whole race are pretty generally
understood to be turned over to the devil, for our benefit, in this world, however it may turn out
in another!” (Stowe. Volume I. Chapter XVIII. Page 185). The institution of slavery in the
American South benefited the wealthy white man greatly as they reaped in all the financial
rewards for cash crop mass-production at the expense of free enforced slave labor. Thus
migration to the Americas satisfied the inherent desires of man to attain an abundance of land,
achieve the master status of a wealthy plantation owner, and have tremendous influence in the
politics and society throughout the colonial Americas and also the first centuries of the United
States of America. The inherent desire for self-benefit lead the white immigrant and land owners

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to enslave an entire human race, to achieve that end. The enslavement of a human in and of itself
is intrinsically evil and immoral. Through the logical explanation that ‘the end justifies the
means,’ we understand that slavery violates all moral law. Yet as stated earlier, man will do
almost anything in this world for his benefit. It is on this discussion of slavery that we begin the
analysis on the portrayal of the conflict between good and evil in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle
Tom’s Cabin.
Having established the evil and immoral nature of slavery, we begin to take a more
detailed look through the perspective of American literature. Now it is common understanding
among men and women today the nature of the treatment of the slaves by their masters. Violence
was used to enforce continual and relentless labor from sunrise to sunset with no exceptions. The
everlasting turmoil of the slaves, the lashings, the abuse, and demoralizing treatment resulted in
different reactions among them. The injustices of slavery induced the following reactions of
flight, blind submissiveness, subversion, armed resistance, and heroic self-sacrifice; all of which
are exemplified by characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Johnson). Specifically, the character Uncle
Tom takes on the purpose of heroic self-sacrifice, George Harris executes armed resistance, and
Eliza Harris takes flight from the injustices.
Amidst a world of hatred for his own race, Uncle Tom maintained humility and
submissiveness to slave labor. He relied heavily on being a Christian to get him through this life
and into the next one of Salvation. Uncle Tom followed a particular journey further down south
going from a friendly Kentucky owner in Mr. Shelby, to a more degraded yet respectful owner in
Mr. St. Clare in Louisiana, to the final destination of the ruthless and brutal plantation owner Mr.
Legree. It is at Legree’s plantation that Uncle Tom’s faith in the Lord peaks and his approach to
eradicating slavery takes place. He makes a unique transition, “Uncle Tom has become the

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embodiment of Christ, both comforting the oppressed and judging the oppressor with an awful
mercy. Through Tom's sacrifice, America can potentially be cleansed of the final blot on the
national conscience” (MacFarlane). It is in this regard that Uncle Tom has taken on the role of
heroic self-sacrifice standing against the laws of slavery by passive-aggressive means of holding
up to the higher law of God and refusing to take part in slavery’s abuses. Uncle Tom took on the
punishment of his fellow slaves fulfilling work for them as well as himself to make their lives
just a bit more tolerable. He was killed because of his generosity and refusal to whip a fellow
slave. We come to a greater appreciation of what it means to be human and to have compassion
from this ‘inferior’ figure.
George Harris, on the other hand, takes on the role of armed resistance in demanding his
political rights, liberties, and freedoms in the face of the evil that is slavery. Despite his noble
action of running to his freedom, he is doing so more for the reason of personal autonomy than to
free the greater population. His true motivation and purpose for individuality can be seen in the
way he goes about achieving his freedom, “The language of self-determination and revolt
resonates for George because he knows that he is more talented than his white master, not
because he subscribes to some larger notion of human rights” (MacFarlane). George carries the
aura, pride, and the sense of self-privilege that was evident in America’s Founding Fathers. He
held steadfast in his belief that slavery was a great injustice that was being done to him, as
indeed it was a great injustice. He spoke very powerful words confiding in a friend and formal
master that certainly resonates the ideas of the men who founded this nation, “All men are free
and equal in the grave, if it comes to that, Mr. Wilson” (Stowe. I. III. 13). This quote confirms
the fact that George was willing to lay down his life for the cause of achieving his freedom.
Therefore, if he shall die for pursuing his freedom, at least he’ll be free and equal albeit in death.

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George particularly focuses on his own freedom and neglects the greater social reform due to his
belief that he was smarter than his master. George questions profoundly, “My master! And who
made him my master? That’s what I think of – what right has he to me? I’m a man as much as he
is” (Stowe. I. III. 13). George without a doubt has every right to do everything he can to obtain
personal autonomy and his freedom. Although it appears he is blinded by his self-righteousness
and neglects the rest of the slave population. His main concern is the freedom of his immediate
family as it should be, but rather than returning to end slavery all together by helping other slave
fugitives escape to Canada he departs for Liberia. His intentions here are good as he goes to
establish a safe former slave country for his own countrymen but that leaves the rest of the slave
population back in America. A free ex-slave country is all well and good if the former slaves
have easy access to get there. We see a contrast in his post-freedom actions by a foil character of
a former slave named Jim. Jim returns to America after reaching Canada in order to help his own
mother and other fugitive slaves escape to their freedom. Jim’s actions are noble and great
respected as he time and again risked his life to help other fugitive slaves directly. George’s selfrighteousness and pride was good in that it helped him and his family reach freedom from
oppression and slavery. But his pride and desire to be atop the political spectrum blinded him
from the social reform taking place in America in the shape of the Underground Railroad and the
rise of the Abolitionist Movement. In this sense a certain evil is still present with George in the
shape of pride as it gets in the way of helping the slaves in the face of the great evil of slavery.
Eliza Harris, the wife of George, responds to the evil of slavery by simple submissiveness
until her child was to be sold; which consequently led her to take flight for her freedom. Eliza is
a prime example of the in-born courage that rises within a mother when it comes to protecting
her child at all costs. We see that courage and great drive for protection when Eliza vaults herself

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onto the ice of the Ohio River and miraculously makes it across with her child without going
under (Stowe. I. VII. 52). Many people when faced with evil and oppression run, which many of
us can find no fault in, for sometimes in this world of ‘fight or flight,’ flight may be the best
option. Unfortunately for Eliza, she is faced with discrimination not only for being black but also
for being a woman. Racism and sexism both factor into her life. Although she escapes racism and
slavery in America, she cannot escape sexism that is still strong within politics in Canada:
The cult of true womanhood bars Eliza from full participation in the political freedom
she has risked her life to win. The cult legitimizes for her the moral authority of her home over
the outside world, but it simultaneously denies her access to that world. Though George now
moves in a world where men have votes and a nation has a voice, Eliza has been disenfranchised
and silenced again (MacFarlane).
Eliza is still faced with no political freedom or opportunities men have in a free country.
Although she absolutely would prefer just sexism instead of both sexism and racism, it is still a
reminder that not all slaves who reached Canada gained political influence or freedom. This
brings along the coinciding evil of this time period of sexism, where women have no right to
vote, own property, or have job opportunities outside of the home. This evil would exist until the
Women’s Right Movement in the early 20th century and traces of it still exist today.
Furthermore, we must analyze the detrimental effect slavery had on African families and
lead Lincoln to label slavery as the cause of the Civil War. Slave traders partook in their job
willingly and seemingly without conscience or remorse. They separated children from their
mothers, husbands from their wives, brothers from their sisters and so on and so forth. The
separation from family lead the slave to lose all those figures in his or her life that cared for

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them. We see a staple example of this as George explains his childhood being separated from
family, “Well, I grew up, -long years and years, - no father, no mother, no sister, not a living soul
that cared for me more than a dog” (Stowe. I. XI. 97). Consequently, without family, slave
children were left as George expressed, with nobody to look at them or treat them any better than
they would an animal. This neglect and lack of love had devastating effects on a slave child’s
mind. George elaborates on the greatest evil of his childhood, “[W]hen I was a little fellow, and
laid awake whole nights and cried, it wasn’t the hunger, it wasn’t the whipping, I cried for. No,
sir; it was for my mother, and my sisters, -it was because I hadn’t a friend to love me on earth”
(Stowe. I. XI. 97). This proves that it wasn’t the physical abuses of slavery such as the whipping,
the starving, the thirsting, that hurt the slave the most; but rather it was the emotional support and
love that comes with family that when lacking, was most detrimental. This gives evidence to the
fact that not only did the average slave suffer physical abuses of slavery but emotional and
psychological abuses as well. As the Abolitionist Movement gained support due to recognition of
these inhuman sufferings, so did the willingness to fight for the slave’s freedom. Slavery became
the hot topic in the nation’s capital with heated debates and steadfast opinions on both sides. The
Civil War broke under abolitionist-sympathizing President Abraham Lincoln. There were
numerous factors in the outbreak of war, but Lincoln had a particular view, “The selfrighteousness, the commitment to higher laws, the pride, the scruples, and the suspicions: all
these had brought on the war, and [Lincoln] would not deign to pass final judgment on either the
South or the North for the slaughter. Yet he knew what lay underneath, what had caused the war:
slavery” (Wineapple). It is common knowledge to attribute slavery to the cause of Civil War, but
at that timeframe it was not viewed as the cause but abolition a movement coinciding with the

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preservation of the Union. This goes to show that slavery affirmed an evil as it broke up families
and psychologically damaged children as well as directly cause the outbreak of a Civil War.
Moreover, the reason slavery had such a strong foothold in American society to begin
with was due to the justification that it was the will of God. One of the justifications Christians
found in slavery was that the African race were the descendants of Cain, the infamous biblical
figure who killed his brother Abel. The plantation owners and slave traders took comfort in the
fact that owning a slave was a God-given right in which they can indulge and take full advantage
in the profit of it. This religious and ‘moral’ justification for slavery is evident in Uncle Tom’s
Cabin when a group of gentlemen and ladies discuss slavery in which one states, “It’s
undoubtedly the intention of Providence that the African race should be servants, -kept in low
condition” (Stowe. I. XII. 107). When one believes that an action he or she is doing that is
religiously justified when in fact is intrinsically evil, there is no telling to what means that
individual will take to defend it. This is exactly why the South was so willing to secede from the
Union and engage in the Civil War with the North. Slavery was clearly justified by religion in
government documents as well as South Carolina Governor George McDuffie wrote,
Whether we consult the sacred Scriptures, or the lights of nature and reason, we shall find
these truths as abundantly apparent, as if written with a sunbeam in the heavens. Under both the
Jewish and Christian dispensations of our religion, domestic slavery existed with the unequivocal
sanction of its prophets, its apostles and finally its great Author. The patriarchs themselves, those
chosen instruments of God, were slave-holders (McDuffie).
McDuffie’s statements provide the necessary insight that political leaders and common
land owners alike found justification for slavery in the Bible and other religious documents. This

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steadfast belief that slavery was a God-given right lead to a ‘Holy War’ so to speak, as both
sides, the North and South, found religious justification in their efforts and God was on their
side. Consequently, the Civil War became devastating on both sides of the fight in terms of
casualties as men died for fighting what they believed in. It is there we find another evil, that
man is so blinded by God’s ‘approval’ of slavery that he was willing to die for the preservation of
such an atrocity.
Despite the North’s victory in the Civil War, it did not mean the end of slavery.
Politically, yes slavery was abolished by the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment, but that
didn’t stop Southern planters from finding ways to maintain it. As previously mentioned, when
one is engaging in an action believed to be a God-given right, one will go to drastic measures to
maintain it. Without a doubt the Southern planters needed the slaves to perform the labor for
them and to keep their profits up. Master Augustine St. Clare, a Louisiana plantation owner in
Uncle Tom’s Cabin expressed, “If I was to say anything on this slavery matter, I would say out,
fair and square, ‘We’re in for it; we’ve got ‘em, and mean to keep ‘em, - it’s for our convenience
and our interest;’ for that’s the long and short of it” (Stowe. I. XVI. 158). This perfectly testifies
the reasoning of the Southern planter that they recognize slavery is incredibly convenient for
them as a mass of people perform back-breaking labor at no cost but for your own profit. They
had grown accustomed to having all the back-breaking work done for them and therefore
adopted a sense of laziness. Laziness is seen as an example of evil and in fact seen as one of the
Seven Deadly Sins, albeit under the synonym of sloth. Again Master St. Clare offers insight on
this matter, “I’m inclined to think that laziness is…the ‘essence of moral evil’” (Stowe. I. XVI.
153). Thus more drive is added to the audacity of the Southerners in battle as they fought for
what they believed was a God-given right and for a lifestyle accustomed to laziness while

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reaping massive benefits. When slavery was removed after the War they found ways to maintain
it illegally, “By the first years after 1900, tens of thousands of African American men and boys,
along with a smaller number of women, had been sold by southern state governments”
(Blackmon). So due to their refusal to change their lifestyle, Southern plantation owners and
leaders found ways to manage to continue the practice of slavery. This confirms the power of
temptation as the evil of slavery continued even after it was legally abolished.
The discussion on the Seven Deadly Sins and sloth lead us to another one of the Sins in
envy, which plays an evident role in Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
Whether we envy a possession or characteristic of another or create a reason for other’s to envy
us, humans cannot help but be involved with envy. It is inherent in man that he must do what is
best for him and protect, as we have seen with the slave-holders. But this sense of entitlement to
be ‘better’ than everyone else finds its roots in our everyday childhood. Boys always seek to be
more adventurous, more popular, and be the object of envy of all the other boys. Tom Sawyer
exemplifies this perfectly, as he disappeared for days to come back in dramatic fashion, “[Tom]
gets to live out perhaps every morbid, underappreciated kid's greatest fantasy: to spy on his own
mourners and hear how sorry everybody is, and then to come back from the dead to a hero's
welcome” (“The Big Read”). This sky-rocketed his popularity as the boys and girls heard the
stories of his days he spent ‘pirating,’ the days he was missing. Tom was the center of attention
and basking in the glory and envy of his schoolmates, “Boys of his own size pretended not to
know he had been away at all; but they were consuming with envy, nevertheless” (Twain.
Chapter XVIII. Page 120). Envy is found inherent to man because when one individual has
attention and power, another wants it. It’s human nature to want what is best for you and when
someone achieves the great power and profit in life we cannot help but wish we had it instead.

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But this is where evil plays a role in envy and why it is listed as one of the Seven Deadly Sins as
writer Diana Burrell states, “Envy manifests itself in two destructive ways: as psychological
pain, such as lowered self-confidence or depression, and acting-out behaviors that include selfsabotage and withdrawal.” Envy can lead us down self-deprecating paths as we may make illfated decisions that are not for our overall self-benefit. It is something that we must avoid
because it hurts us and others.
Additionally, the relationship between Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher provides a
glimpse into another one of the Seven Deadly Sins- lust. Another means to attaining high status
in wealth is to find the most beautiful of all women and marrying her. Tom, as any young boy,
courts girls frequently and shows off in numerous ways to attract their attention. Yet when Tom
encounters Becky for the first time he is awestruck as he ‘worshipped this new angel’ and
idolized her and considers her an objective to achieve and therefore begins ‘showing off’ (Twain.
III. 24). Tom begins to try and court her because she already has a wealthy and high status in life
being the daughter of a well-known and well-respected lawyer. Tom is only a regular village boy
with nothing to use but imagination to claim a right to court her. In an article at the University of
Virginia titled “Becky Thatcher,” it is explained, “Placed on figurative pedestal, the porch of a
large white house, Becky represents the unattainable aristocratic woman.” Therefore Tom must
go to great means in order to catch her attention and court her. He absorbs his life and everything
he previously dreamed of has lost all importance when she fell ill, “There was a distraction in
thought. He no longer took an interest in war, nor even piracy. The charm of life was gone; there
was nothing but dreariness left” (Twain. XII. 81). Tom was so absorbed by his adoration for
Becky that he in fact came to ‘lust’ for her as she was the center of his life and everything else

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lost significance. One could argue that this was love, but interpreted in the sense that he had an
intense and passionate desire to have her as his own, this becomes lust.
Yet another Deadly Sin finds its way into the story of Tom Sawyer and is arguably one of
the most widespread sins in human nature is greed. Greed is one of the most common sins
because as we have already discussed, it is the human nature that is grounded in the advancement
of one’s own benefit and that flaw in human nature is a direct cause to the sin of greed. One
becomes enclosed in greed when successes and benefits one has already achieved simply are not
enough to satisfy the individual and therefore he or she wants more and will do anything to gain
more. Tom exemplifies this fault of greed when he tricks the boys of the village into trading
objects in return for whitewashing the fence for Tom, “And when the middle of the afternoon
came, from being a poor poverty-stricken boy in the morning, Tom was literally rolling in
wealth” (Twain. II. 20). Tom had deceived one boy to whitewash the fence if he gave Tom his
apple, and that got the greed started as once Tom had attained a prized object he was not entirely
satisfied and consequently continued to trick more boys to attain more prized possessions. Tom
embodied greed as he manipulated boy after boy until he ran out of whitewash all for the purpose
of greed. The reason greed is such a great sin and offense because of the harm it causes to others.
In a study conducted on the Seven Deadly Sins found that greed was perceived as the most sinful
of the seven with the only exception of wrath which is equivalent with greed on the study’s scale
(Stenstrom and Curtis). Greed harms others due to its leaving other people with less than they
should have and comes down to stealing. Through deception and trickery, Tom stole these valued
items from the boys who were tricked into thinking it was a fair trade. Greed leaves those
victimized by it vulnerable and poor while benefiting the perpetrator with wealth and high status

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because of his or her wealth. Due to the benefits of greed it lies in human nature to be susceptible
to being greedy.
Furthermore, we find the Deadly Sin of wrath playing a role in the story. In the case of
Mark Twain’s character Injun’ Joe, wrath envelopes his whole being as he becomes wrapped up
in getting vengeance on his offenders. Wrath was found next to greed in the previously
mentioned study because it also involves the direct harm of others. Wrath has the ability and
likelihood of leading one to seek vengeance on people the individual feels wronged by. Injun’
Joe murdered a man and when it was discovered that he was the murderer he sought concealment
from the village. He looks to run to Texas and avoid being convicted, but something holds him
back from leaving until he accomplishes one thing, ‘“’Tain’t robbery altogether-it’s revenge!’ and
a wicked light flamed in his eyes. ‘I’ll need your help in it. When it’s finished-then Texas’”
(Twain. XXVI. 162). Injun’ Joe became so enwrapped in his desire to extract vengeance that he
left himself out in the open and seen and chased which ultimately lead to his tragic death trapped
in his hide-out. Injun’ Joe was already looking to escape to Texas after being discovered for
murder and although escaping was in his best self-benefit he was blinded by a psychological
benefit of extracting vengeance on an ‘offender.’ He was looking to further his self-benefit, as
coincides with human nature although his self-benefit was spurred by wrath and consequently
lead to his untimely death. Wrath blinds us of what is truly good for us as in Injun’ Joe’s case but
we see the need for vengeance rather causes, “[W]e knew from the scholarly literature that a
central function of anger is to trigger an urge to lash out” (Finkel and Duffy). Therefore we come
to the understanding that wrath leads to an urge to ‘lash out’ and also to seek vengeance. This
lashing out and vengeance we perceive as good for our well-being but in fact does the opposite

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as it inhibits our decision-making and ultimately impacts others in a negative manner through
physical or emotional harm.
The popularity of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is in the fact that its readers can relate
to Tom and re-live his or her childhood. As children, we are excited about life and have an inbound desire to ‘explore’ and ‘go on adventures’ just as Tom does in the story. It reminds us of
our own childhood and even the current lifestyle of our children. We see a great similarity in
Tom’s personality with a real-life example of a writer’s son when she describes his personality,
“He seems to enjoy himself testing the rules and seeing what happens when he disobeys them”
(Laidlaw). It is only in the nature of being a young child to go about and test the rules. The
inherent desire to gain what is best for us begins as we test rules to see if we are an exception
from them. As a child we look to propel ourselves ahead of others by trying to be excluded from
the rules that hold other children down. This desire is a premature glimpse into what is to come
as we grow up to indulge in self-benefits and being better than our contemporaries.
Additionally, a specific example of the man’s inherent nature to seek what is best for him
at the expense of others can be seen in both novels discussed. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin it is clear
that racism is an instrumental part of society thus the institution of slavery. Black men and
women were treated according to their social rank as slaves. In a similar way, Huckleberry Finn,
a character in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, is treated by his social rank. Huckleberry is the
son of the town drunk, has no real home, clothes, or education. He is perceived as a bad example
for the rest of the village’s children. Jonathan Marana from the Cleveland Historical Society
explains, “[T]he adults of the small village show a perfect example of an evil nature of man,
which is treating other people based on their social ranking. Huckleberry Finn is a child who
didn't have anybody to treat him as a parent or to provide him with his needs.” There is a parallel

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that lies in the treatment of Huckleberry Finn and the slaves in America as both were treated
poorly by society because of their social rank. But in reality, both Huckleberry Finn and the
slaves were victims of the neglect due to having nobody to care for them and their well-being.
This is one of the tragedies in society as we treat people by their social rank when in fact they are
victim of circumstances (whether being black or poor) and can’t help their social standings.
In conclusion, we have come to understand that it is man’s inherent imperfection that we
seek the advancement of ourselves at the expense of our contemporaries. This great evil is
portrayed perfectly in Uncle Tom’s Cabin through the American institution of slavery. The white
land-owners in America advanced their social status and wealth at the expense of the black man.
The white slave-holders maintained their self-advancement but justifying the slave practice by
biblical means and consequently were willing to die for the evil they perceived as good and to
carry on the practice of slavery while legislated as illegal. In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,
Twain magnificently gives us a glimpse into the Seven Deadly Sins and how some of them are
related to our inherent tendency to advance ourselves in society by any means. It is through great
literary works such as these that opens the eyes of society to the evils inherent to the nature of
man. Evil is depicted in these works as it is, evil and something which we must avoid and
combat. Both these stories give us insight into the great injustices that are done both to ourselves
and especially to others when we are blinded by evil and look out only for our own good. It is
our duty as a human population to seek the betterment of society, not seek the betterment of our
own lives at the expense of society. This understanding of these novels guides us to have a
greater appreciation for the power of literature because it has the ability to expose flaws in
human nature and give us a chance to redeem ourselves from our own inherent evil nature.