Huck Finn

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In the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain uses the Mississippi River to show the value of freedom. Freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Huckleberry Finn is trapped with his abusive father, while Jim is a slave with a family. Huck and Jim set out to float the Mississippi, with their ultimate goal being freedom. Twain uses the Mississippi River to represent adventure, comfort, and an escape from society.

Twain uses the Mississippi River to show adventure. From the beginning of the book, it is clear that Huck loves adventure. Huck agrees to join Tom Sawyer’s robber gang. “Now, we’ll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer’s Gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in blood.”(13) When Huck and Jim are on the Mississippi River, Huck is eager to do something adventurous so he tries to dress up like a girl and go into town. “I reckoned I would slip over the river and find out what was going on…couldn’t I put on some of them old things and dress up like a girl?”(60) Jim seems skeptical about adventures, but Huck is always pushing him to do something fun. For example, Huck pressures Jim into trying to catch the gang of murderers. Huck says,

Quick Jim, it ain’t no time for fooling around and moaning; there’s a gang of murderers in yonder, and if we don’t hunt up their boat and set her drifting down the river so these fellows can’t get away from the wreck there’s one of ‘em going to be in a bad fix. But if we find their boat we can put all of ‘em in a bad fix-for the Sheriff’ll get ‘em”(75)

The river is a good place to find adventure, it is always moving to someplace new. Adventures are only possible with freedom, if Jim were to still be stuck with his father, he would not be having as much fun.

Mark Twain uses the Mississippi River to represent comfort because both Jim and Huck feel relaxed on the river. When floating on the...
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