Huckleberry Finn Research Paper

1918 Words Nov 24th, 2010 8 Pages
Huckleberry Finn: a Struggle for Freedom

Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn so innocently reveals the potential nobility of

human nature in its well-loved main characters that it could never successfully support

anything so malicious as slavery. Huckleberry Finn and traveling companion Jim, a

runaway slave, are unknowing champions for humility, mercy, and selflessness. “Twain

used realistic language in the novel, making Huck’s speech sound like actual conversation

and imitating a variety of dialects to bring the other characters to life.” The adventurous

nature of the story and its noble characters celebrates freedom from social and economic

restraint, and it is apparent from the beginning through his satiric
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At this point in the story freedom is not only a desire of Huck - it is a necessity.

While Twain's story does have the outward appearance of a boyhood adventure

tale, it is impossible to overlook the symbolic nature in the two "runaways'" desires for

such an adventure. Both Huck and Jim are running away from the social constraints of

their worlds. Huck feels confined by his new civilized life, and Jim by his slave status.

In the Widow Douglas' household, Huck is not allowed to indulge himself in his former

delights of boyhood. He feels trapped by the various social rules and expectations the

two widows try to enforce upon him. Jim is confined by the bonds of slavery into an

uncomfortable and immobile spot in society- one that restricts him from being with his

own family. Thus the two "prisoners" begin their escape for freedom. “Huck Finn

includes events and settings reminiscent of Twain’s boyhood in Hannibal, MO., a town

on the Mississippi River.” And, while it is natural that Twain placed the story on the

wide and powerful Mississippi River where he spent part of his life, there is also a

symbolic gesture in the setting. While Huck and Jim travel down the flowing river, they

feel a distance from stagnant society on the river's banks. On the natural river, they are

free from the shortcomings and evils of human nature that exist

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