Huckleberry Finn Symbolism

6 June 2017

Laws and Freedom In the Adventure of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn is a free spirit who longs for adventure and nothing more than to escape from societys “rules”. Having grown up with no motherly fgure by his side and a drunkard father, Huckleberry Finn separates himself from society at an early age and learns to rely solely on himself. As a result from his alienation from society, he’s a free spirit with an uncivilized behavior that society constantly tries to reform to standards. The only place where Huck finds tranquility is on the peaceful Mississippi River with the unaway slave, Jim.

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Together, they build their own sanctuary on the raft away from the shore as they form a friendship that society would never accept between a slave owner and a slave. The shore is where Huck believes societys rules await him and the river is where all opportunities are possible. The conflict that exists between Huckleberry Finn and society stems from the way civilization sets standards in which a person must adhere to in order to fit in’. However Huck has no interest in conforming to these traditionalistic views; he does not wish to be proper.

Huck proceeds to act in an uncivilized fashion in which Miss Watson believes she must tame and reform. He shows much disinterest in Miss Watson’s passion to civilize him as he says, “The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me I got into my old rags and my sugar hogshead again”. He then makes up his own rules as his adventure continues to deal with the prejudices and racism of the society on shore. Rules that he believes are what defines him as a person and as a result changes his perspective on the way he perceives moral values.

For example, he ponders over a hurt Jim when he had teased about the fog and says, “It was fifteen minutes before I gone humble myself to a nigger, but I done it, and I wasn’t sorry for it afterwards. ” (115). Despite Jim being a slave, Huck Finn starts to appreciate him as a person and an equal. This feeling of appreciation is one he would have never felt on shore because of society’s restrictions. As opposed to the restriction that Huck feels on shore, he feels the exact opposite as he sails down the tranquil Mississippi River.

He sails the river with Jim, a runaway lave escaping from the harsh society where his only place is to serve his white superiors. However for both Huck and Jim, despite their social hierarchy difference on shore, enjoys the same freedom rafting along the Mississippi River. He feels “… it’s lovely to live on a raft” (1 15). A feeling of peace settles throughout their whole voyage, but as they anchor on shore, we are at once reminded of the deceit, cruelty, and greed that plagues society. As Huck and Jim travels on shore with the Dauphin and the Duke, Huck immediately recognizes the two as conmen that have invaded their peace.

When Huck and Jim were able to abandon the Duke and Dauphin and resume their adventure downstream, he expressed how it felt “… so good to be free again” (197). However to Hucks dismay, the Duke and Dauphin returned on a different raft to which Huck replies by “… wilt[ing] right down onto the planks” (198). The Duke and Dauphin represent the aspects of society in its entirety and despite the tact that Huck and Jim were tar away trom the snore and its contormities, socie standards were always following close behind. Society is constantly trying to reform Huck and Jim even when they are out of reach.

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