Honors English Period 5
11, December 2007
“Life on the Mississippi”
In the novel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain, the main character Huck Finn is, for a majority of the novel, traveling along the Mississippi River. Huck and his caretaker’s slave Jim traveled down the river by raft, facing many hardships and problems along the great river including; heavy fog, getting lost and missing their intended paths, dangerous steam boats, and sleazy con men. But, seeing as it is a fictional novel, these hardships may not all be correct. And so this essay will evaluate the validity of the statements and obstacles seen on the Mississippi River as seen in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
Life on the Mississippi River for Huck and Jim was definitely not as easy as it could be with Huck’s need for adventure and excitement. Just as the time when Huck and Jim stumbled upon a wrecked steamboat while sailing along the river on a stormy night. Jim paid no mind to the half sunken boat, yet Huck was mesmerized by it’s adventurous aspects. He begged and begged Jim to come explore the boat with him, “I couldn’t rest easy till I could see the ferry-boat start (pg. 97).” until he finally gave in, despite the danger. But when they boarding the vessel, they find that Jim’s suspicion of danger was correct, they were not the only passengers on the sunken boat. There were three criminal river gamblers, about to kill a victim, and would have killed Jim and Huck also if they had spotted them, but luckily they escaped in time. In the pre Civil War era, which is the time that, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” took place, river gamblers were not uncommon, especially around the Mississippi River.
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