The Adventures of Huck Finn

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Fredric Bembry
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Essay
April 9, 2010

Webster’s New Explorer Dictionary and Thesaurus defines an archetype as the original pattern or model of all things of the same type. Another way to understand the meaning of an archetype is that we are all born with a set of unconscious patterns of behavior that we can call archetypes. Life helps to teach us that we may not be aware of an archetype influencing our life and helping us relate to significant others. A round character is defined as a major character in a work of fiction that encounters conflict and is changed by it. Round characters tend to be more fully developed and described than static characters. We tend to find round characters more interesting and believable because of how real the character is in the book.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is full of round characters, including Huck. Though it was stated that Huck is a round character in the previous sentence, he is also a heroic archetype. Huck has a hero’s journey that consists of a departure, initiation, and return. Huck shows three characteristics during the section of the departure in the book. The call of adventure begins when the hero’s life will begin to change. This is seen when Huck sees Pap’s boot print in the snow early in the novel. The next part is a trial where Huck must use his unique abilities to progress, as seen when Huck escapes from Pap’s cabin. Then Huck enters a new world using the river as the threshold into it.

Next is initiation where most of the similarities are found. First is the pursuance of the hero’s goal that helps him mature and see potential in himself. This is seen in Huck’s journey with Jim to get him to freedom. Huck matures from seeing Jim as a slave to seeing him as a human and as a friend. The hero’s maturity leads him down the right path when he is tempted to “join the dark side” and turn Jim in. Instead, Huck lies to protect Jim. Next is...
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