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From A Troubled Child To Civilized: An Analysis Of The Effects The Mississippi River Has On Huck’s Coming Of Age In Twain’s The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

1276 words - 6 pages

From a troubled child to civilized:

an analysis of the effects the Mississippi River has on Huck’s coming of age in Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

A symbol is defined as something used for or regarded as presenting something else. A symbol can stand for something in a positive and negative manner. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses the Mississippi River to represent Huck's long journey to freedom. The river positively helps Huck's coming of age as he changes his morals and the way he thinks by listening to his conscience rather than second guessing himself constantly. The river can also be seen negatively because many problems actually occur on the ...view middle of the document...

Huck does not like the fact that church is mandatory, and school is a daily routine. Also, he does not enjoy having to be properly bathed and dressed, because he enjoys being in his old and dirty rags. This shows Huck’s immaturity and how much growing up Huck still has to do. When Huck was on the river he felt “powerful lazy and comfortable” (36). Through this one can see how anytime Huck was on land and not on the river, he was troubled or disturbed and would rather be on the raft and river. Huck felt at peace and relaxed as long as he was on the river and raft.
The Mississippi River significantly represents Huck’s change of views for the better regarding slavery and how he viewed black slaves.  Twain grew up 20 years before the Civil War, therefore he was not against slavery, which was also how Twain is seen through Huck. Huck also had no further education to see through his own eyes that slavery was inhumane. When Huck began his journey, he did not have anybody there with him to run to freedom. As he began his journey, he began to realize he was “lonesome” (41). Huck wanted to see someone that he knew to keep him company through the dark nights and hot, sunny days. Huck’s idea of ideal company was Tom Sawyer, but he was just as happy when he saw that “it was Miss Watson’s Jim” (40). As Huck and Jim spent more time together, they started to grow fond of each other's presence. While Huck and Jim were on the river, a heavy fog began to roll in. Huck and JIm got separated. Huck was “sick and scared” because he noticed no raft was tied to him that had Jim. When Huck and Jim finally found each other after a long and terrible night Huck persuaded Jim to believe that he had a nightmare. Here one can see Huck’s immaturity. After the fog incident, Jim found out Huck made everything up and he “got up slow, and walked to the wigman… It made me feel so mean I could almost kissed his foot to get him to take it back” (80). Here one can see that Huck’s view on blacks start to slightly shift. Huck started to feel sympathy towards a black slave, which was very different for him because he thought he would always have one view on blacks and slaves for the rest of his like. It was till he gained further knowledge to allow his perspective...

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