In 1885 during an era of severe racism, Mark Twain wrote the book Huckleberry Finn, questioning the practice of slavery. In this novel, slavery and social standards are analyzed through the eyes and innocence of a child. It is particularly important that these observations are shown through a child’s eyes, because children generally still posses their innocence and are not yet brainwashed by society. Twain uses the Mississippi River in this story to place Huck on a figurative island separated from the influences of society. Twain uses this separation to allow Huck to develop his own opinions according to his own moral values. The river is used as a method of illustrating specific themes such as desire for security, freedom, and equal human rights.
First, the river is recognized as a safe haven from all of the evils troubling them in their lives back on land. Whenever Huck and Jim encounter a problem they are able to simply return to their raft and escape their troubles. The river is also a place where the pair is able to be themselves without fear of being criticized by members of society. This is a particularly important element because it allows them to be free to make decisions and create a relationship without public influence. This is a luxury that they are not permitted on land. The river allows the two to be comfortable with each other, because they are separated from land and society. “We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft” (136). This quote explains that the two boys are able to find a place where they can both relax and be at ease.
Next, the river provides Huck and Jim with their own form of freedom. On the river, Huck does not have to follow the rules which his social conformist guardian attempted to force upon him. “The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but...
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