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mark twain literature essay
Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain was a satirical author. Most would even call him a wise ass based on his sarcastic quotes and responses. Other than just his great humor, Mark twain had a simple view on freedom that few would now disagree with, but at the time challenged majority thinking. He believed all men and women should be treated equally. That we should all have freedom to live our lives the way we please, and therefor there should be no slavery or segregation. Although Mark Twain never directly said this, it is clear that he felt this way about freedom based on his novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” Mark Twain felt freedom is necessary among all humans. Freedom is not just a word one can say without meaning. It is a privilege, a privilege not everyone is granted. Twain gives a clear example of this in his novel. Twain shows how appreciative Huck is when he is on his own. He also does the same thing with Jim, who is thankful to finally be free from his slave duties. In Twain's novel, the narrator, Huck, seeks freedom from society. Huck, a thirteen year old boy, lives with Widow Douglas and her sister miss Watson. He lives with them because before this he had no home, only a drunken father who he would hardly see. While he lived with the women, they both tried their best to civilize him and keep him away from his old ways. They tried sending h8m to school and teaching him to use his best manners. “Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow if she would let me, she said it was a mean practice and wasn’t clean, and that I must try to not do it anymore.” In this part of the story you can see that Huck enjoyed doing what he wanted. “I liked the old ways best, but I was getting so I liked the new ones too, a little bit.” That quote is from chapter 4 and was spoken by Huck. In that quote you can see that Huck misses his old ways and not being civilized. After reading those parts of the novel you can see that Mark Twain shows appreciation for freedom. Mark Twain makes it obvious that even with freedom there comes restraints that are needed. I say this because in the book he introduces the duke and the king. Twain uses them as prime examples of the bad side of having too much freedom. The duke and king lie, cheat, steal, and are always up to no good. This was Twain's way of showing that with freedom there still need to be some restraints. He shows that because there were no restraints, the duke and king got away with screwing people over.
Twain had a brilliant way to show people how important freedom is to all citizens no matter their ethnicity. Twain did this with his character Jim. In the book Jim is Miss Watson's slave who is eager to seek freedom and avoid being sold, which would also lead to him being separated from his family. All through out the book Jim has no freedom or choices; he is told exactly what to do and must do it without asking any questions. Even when Jim escapes and meets Huck on the island, he is still required to hide and avoid all contact with anyone. Based on the book, freedom was something that Jim lusted for, he was willing to die for a slim chance of having freedom. Twain used Jim to represent most of the slaves from that time; they would strive for freedom, but to the slaves like Jim, freedom was a long fight that some never won. The book clearly expresses Mark Twain's own opinions on slaves and freedom. He feels that freedom is essential for all humans to live a life worth living, and seeking that freedom is worth dying for. If Twain were alive today I believe that he would be proud to see how far we have come in America since his time.