Critical Lens Essay
The Metamorphosis of Huck
Henry David Thoreau wrote “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.” This means that if somebody is doing something different from somebody else, it is because he/she thinks independently. When somebody is thinking independently, his own beliefs and emotions drive their actions. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck shows that he can change to march to the beat of his own drum, instead of following whoever is close to him. Symbolism of the raft, the pain Huck has for the Duke and King, and the symbolism of the river all show how he changes to become more independent.
The symbolism of the river plays a part in the change Huck makes. Whenever he is on the river, he is independent; however, when he is on land, he is influenced by society and follows everyone else. It is like what Thoreau wrote because when Huck is on land he hears his own drum. When he and Jim are stuck in the fog and get separated, Huck plays a trick on Jim by telling him that Huck was with him the whole time and that Jim just fell asleep. “Well, this is too many for me, Jim. I hain’t seen no fog, nor no islands, nor no troubles, nor nothing. I been setting here talking with you all night till you went to sleep about ten minutes ago, and I reckon I done the same” (84). After a while of Huck going along with the trick, Jim tells him what he thought had happened and he says that he was so happy to find Huck safe when Jim woke up that he started crying and wanted to kiss Huck’s feet. Then he says “It made me feel so mean I could almost kissed his foot to get him to take it back” (86). This is showing that on the river Huck sees Jim as a real person because he wants to kiss his foot after playing a little trick on him. The thematic idea of education is shown because he learns that slavery is bad and he should help free Jim....
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