Huckleberry Finn: a Freudian Perspective

Topics: Mississippi River, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Sigmund Freud Pages: 3 (1186 words) Published: April 28, 2001
In Mark Twain's American classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, we are told of the undertakings of the main character, Huck Finn. He is young, mischievous boy who distances himself from the torment of his home life by escaping with Jim, a runaway slave who is his only friend. As the novel continues, we find that the structure of Mr. Twain's writing is redolent of certain aspects of Freudian psychology. More specifically, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn can be interpreted using the Oedipus complex ,which is one the defining works of Dr. Sigmund Freud. It basically states that a young male has an irrepressible subconscious desire to do away with his father so that he may be more intimate with his mother. Three aspects that corroborate this argument are: 1. Huck Finn's unending will to separate himself from his father, 2. The Mississippi River as a symbol for Huck's maternal figure, and 3. The character of Jim is a secondary maternal figure in the novel.

Huck Finn possesses an unending will to separate himself from his father, Pap. In the beginning of the story we meet Huck's father, a brutally hateful man who has absolutely no care or affection for his son.

During Huck and Pap's first meeting in the book, we see how he actually treats his son. The first words out of his mouth concerned the large amounts of money that Huckleberry and another character, Tom Sawyer, had stumbled upon. When Huck turns this money in to an unfair judge, Huck's father immediately wants to get his hands on it. When he finds out that he cannot cash in on his son's good fortune, things seem to turn much worse for the young boy. One thing leads to another and Pap continues to chastise Huck for the so called "outrageous instances" that Huck has undertaken in his father's absence. Not very soon after Huck and Pap's reunion, Huck decides that he must leave his father. Huckleberry decides that he must "murder" him in a sense, by deserting him and cutting off their...
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