January 6th, 2013
Language Arts III, Period I
Huck Finn Civil Rights Expository Essay
In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the main character, Huck, a thirteen year-old boy, lives with Widow Douglass and her sister Miss Watson. Both of the ladies attempt to civilize Huck by sending him to school and teaching him good manners. However, Huck enjoyed doing what he pleased when he chooses. He lives with them because before this he had no home, only a drunken father, whom he rarely sees. Huck's father was one of these tasteless members of society. He was a drunken cruel person who only cared about finding Huck when he heard he was rich. He intended on getting all Huck's money. Huck's father is a perfect example of the greed in society. He does not care about anything else besides Huck's money. Huck's father will even beat him for no reason or because he is jealous of Huck for being clean and educated. Huck’s rejection for society began right with his father because he had seen what it had done to him.
Jim, Ms. Watson's slave, runs away to escape being sold and having his family separated. He could have been killed or beat for doing a thing like that. The people of Jim’s society would not have even listened to him or even considered his reason. Twain wanted to show, through Jim, just how cruel people were and how those feelings were condoned by society. Twain also shows the ideal of freedom through Jim and the failure to live up to that freedom if Miss Watson sells him. Jim has no freedoms or choices. He is told to do something and must do it without any questions. Even when Jim escapes and meets Huck on the island, he is still required to hide and avoid all contact with anyone. Freedom is something Jim desires more than anything. Jim represents the slaves at that time; all required to struggle and risk their lives for freedom. To the slaves, freedom is a long fight that some never win.
The river traveled by Jim and Huck symbolizes freedom....
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