In Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, the Mississippi River plays many roles and holds a prominent theme throughout much of the story. Huck and Jim are without a doubt the happiest and most at peace when floating down the river on their raft. The river has a deeper meaning than just water and mud, almost to the extent of having it’s own ideal personality. It provides the two characters a means of escape from everything and everyone, and puts them at ease. Although quite constrained in it’s capacity to provide freedom of movement, the raft offers the two a certain amount of freedom in actions, words, and emotions. Huck senses this truth when he mentions how; “other places feel so cramped and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” (Twain, 113) However, the freedom that is experienced on the raft can be deceiving. This freedom is only temporary and will not last forever. Huck and Jim cannot live on a raft traveling down the Mississippi forever and must focus on the main situation at hand, getting Jim his true freedom A freedom that stretches beyond the limiting reaches of a raft.
Huckleberry resents the objectives and beliefs of the so-called “civilized” people of the society around him. Huck likes to be free from the restrictions of others and just be himself, living by his own rules. He disbelieves the societal beliefs that have been embedded in his mind since birth, which is shown by his brother-like relationship with Jim, a runaway slave. Only on the raft do they have the chance to practice the idea of brotherhood which they are so devoted to. When Rifkin, 2
on the raft, peacefully wading down the river, skin color plays no major part in the way that they interact and outright racist perception is nonexistent. The river is the only form of separation from all of the negative virtues of society which Huck has access to. However, it still does not completely separate...
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