Huckleberry Finn Essay

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The Conflict between civilization and natural life
In Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, one of the major themes posed is the conflict between civilization and natural life. Throughout the novel, Huck represents this natural life through his independence, his rebel-like ways, and his desire to escape from anything that was holding him back from freedom. Huckleberry Finn was brought up to be a civilized young man with strong religious ties, but strayed away from his roots to live a life of adventure. Huck represents what it is to be someone to stand up against society and exposes it for what it truly is. He experiences situations of forceful conformation, unruly laws and judgment, and the overall corruption of government in society.

This conflict is introduced in chapter one through the efforts of the Widow Douglas. She tries to force Huck to wear newer and nicer clothes, give up smoking, and learn to love reading the bible; basically her efforts to try and form him into what society wants and not who he truly is. Huckleberry is not interested in any of these things, and he does a great job of showing it. Huck states, "It was rough living in the house all the time... she put me in them new clothes again, and I couldn't do nothing but sweat and sweat, and fell all cramped up" (Twain 20). The Widow Douglas tries to civilize Huck beyond belief, and he avoided this to the best of his abilities. Huck is self-reliant and does not want people telling him what to do. He exemplifies what it means to go out into the world and explore, not knowing what will happen, but finding out the answers on his own, not through the efforts society forces.

School and church happen to be some of the many things he does not like and he will not put up with it. Huck shows great opposition throughout the story by focusing on independency and being open minded. Throughout his life, he has learned to value the trait of being completely self-regulating: solely relying on...
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