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River vs The Raft Huckleberry Finn

By Christopher-Gangarossa Feb 01, 2014 867 Words
In the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain, Jim and Huck face a lot of difficulties in their own lives which lead them to escaping on the raft. The raft is used to travel on is considered the most dominate symbols in Huck Finn because the Mississippi river is supposed to represent freedom and they use the raft to break away from everything and everybody , to become free. For Jim and Huck this freedom takes many forms like family, rules and respectability. The Mississippi River in Hucks case represents freedom from his father pap, who moved back into town and was demanding Huck to live with him. Pap is a very vicious and scary man. Huck is scared of him. Pap has beaten and almost killed Huck. Pap only comes back to take Huck's money, Pap doesn't care for anything other than his booze and money. "Don't you give me none o' your lip," says he. "You've put on considerable many frills since I been away. I'll take you down a peg before I get done with you. You're educated, too, they say—can read and write. You think you're better'n your father, now, don't you, because he can't? I'LL take it out of you. Who told you you might meddle with such hifalut'n foolishness, hey?—who told you you could?" ( Twain 5) Huck's only option to escape is the river. Huck has no freedom under his dad, which he was locked into a room till the point were he had to fake his own death just to escape. The Mississippi River in Jim's case represents the freedom to see his family again and raise his daughter. Jim wants to see his family to make amends with his daughter for the way he acted to her when she was ill, little did Jim know was that she was deaf. He didn't know this up until he screamed at her right behind her, and she acted with no emotion and didn't even flinch. Jim wants to go to the north because they were free states. The further they travel along the river Jim gets closer to the family he wants , while huck gets further away for the family he doesn't want. The river and raft also represents freedom from rules , like with Jim he has no rights on land because slaves mean nothing, so getting away and going to the river were nobody can get him and make a slave again makes Jim ultimately happy for this. This freedom from rules also applies to Huck. Huck has nothing but rules in his life, now that pap is back in town he is legally in charge of Huck and Huck doesn't like this one bit, he is terrified of his dad. Even when he tries to be an outlaw with Tom Sawyers gang , they even put rules in which huck has to follow like the oath that Tom has come up with. By going onto the river both Jim and Huck are able to leave these rules and regulations behind them. "So in two seconds away we went a-sliding down the river, and it did seem so good to be free again and all by ourselves on the big river, and nobody to bother us" (Twain 419) The raft and river can represent the freedom to achieve respectably or demand self respect. As a slave Jim had no freedom to address his concerns or freedom to a white person. However after the storm Jim demand respect from huck for playing a trick on him, Jim was worried sick about huck and thought he might of drowned. Huck finds jim one day and says that never happened , Jim found out he was messing with him and he got very mad at huck and was yelling at him. That was unthinkable coming from a slave because they had no rights to yell at white people. On the river though in this situation Huck was actually able to apologize to him. Huck moral struggle also connects with respectably because this makes him choose how he has the freedom to choose either to do the right thing or wrong thing towards Jim. When Jim is retaken Huck has the choice of doing nothing or to interfere and take him back.Throughout life everyone was choosing what huck should be doing , but this is when he decided to make his own decisions and act how he wants. He said he rather go to hell then do what is actually expected of him. “All right, then, I'll GO to hell"—and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said.  And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming. (Twain 31) Both Jim and Huck use the raft and the river to pursue several different freedoms , like family, rules and respect. Although Jim is moving towards family and huck is moving away from it. Its clear that both are seeking freedom from rules that controlled their lives , and wanted to move apart from this struggle. Their river also gives them their role in society which Jim can get respect and huck can make his own decisions.

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