The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, uses various concrete objects, such as rivers, to symbolize a diverse range of feelings, emotions, and even actions. The ultimate symbol in the novel is the Mississippi River. Rivers often times symbolize "life itself, they are the flux of the world in manifestation, the macrocosm' (Cooper, 139)" (Protas, Allison). "River symbolism is based around water in movement" (Fraim, John). "On the river Huck and Jim witness life and death, tragedy and comedy, strife and peace" (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn). In this case, the river has served as a mechanism for the developmental maturity of Huck. Huck and Jim quickly discover is the key to happiness for them both. They begin to feel a special relationship between themselves, somewhat like mismatched friends. They realize they are beginning to rely on each other so much, that eventually they will need the other to survive. "The river symbolizes freedom, in contrast to the restrictions and responsibilities Huck experiences on land" (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn). "A river can also provide a way of escaping from the culture of the nation. The stories of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn utilize the Mississippi River as something to flow down, with the current, and away from civilization" (Fraim, John). "Twain uses the river to symbolize the confluence of all currents of American life in the first half of the nineteenth century" (The... [continues]
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