In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain uses many symbolic elements to hold the book together, as well as to keep it flowing. One main element he constantly uses to unify the story is the river, and the events that occur while on the river, while contrasting the events that happen on land. The events that happen on the river are portrayed as calm and worry free, while once Huck and his companions set foot on shore, all hell breaks loose. On land, Huck finds himself almost immediately getting into massive amounts of trouble. The constant chaos eventually gives him new points of view and perspective on humanity, “It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race.” (162). Twain makes it apparent that Huck has become overwhelmed with the cruelty of the human race; He makes it so Huck witnesses the acts of the very scum of the human race and how they breakdown and deteriorate peoples lives, and towns. By Twain making these realizations to Huck in the story, he begins to break away from the closed mindedness of most white people back then. While on the river, Twain creates a very calm, free, and peaceful. The experiences Huck has on the river put the plot on standstill, because life was good on the river, “Sometimes we'd have that whole river to ourselves for the longest time.... It's lovely to live on a raft.” (121) Huck can forget about all of his problems on the river, he could be himself and no one would bother him. The tranquil times on the river also gave Huck time to connect with Jim, and he actually learned some important life lessons, like how blacks are actually people and not animals, and their relationship develops deeper and deeper throughout the novel with the river that unifies them together. Throughout the book Twain uses the river as a unifying element to not only hold the book together, but to teach Huck life lessons, and show him what should be right. Without the unification of the...
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