Mark Twain’s The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

1326 words - 6 pages

Published in 1885, Mark Twain’s American classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, captured the both the hearts and hatred of its audience. While some view it as a masterpiece that successfully blended the American condition in a captivating and interesting manner, others observe it to be nothing more than racist trash. The latter is a shallow misunderstanding of the novel’s purpose and potential enlightening impact on its readers. From a more appreciative and open-minded perspective, one would easily witness how Mark Twain’s novel has the makings of a transcendence over all American works, and is the most essential read, one that truly embodies the framework of America. It continues to ...view middle of the document...

According to Huck, “what you want, above all things, on a raft, is for everybody to be satisfied, and feel right and kind towards the others” (Twain 115). The raft remains a place of safety and freedom for Huck and Jim while on their journey. Alone on their raft, they do not have to answer to anyone, and “[They] said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft” (107). These words precede the chapter that begins with a focus on the glorification of life on the raft in beautiful language that mirrors Huck and Jim’s desire to escape the trouble and violence that characterizes life on shore.
This peaceful image of floating freely on the seemingly boundless Mississippi River is interrupted by the Duke and the King, a pair of con men whom Huck and Jim rescue as they are being run out of a river town. As they spend more time on the raft, Huck and Jim become increasingly uncomfortable. The Duke and the King are products of society that invade Huck and Jim’s free-flowing lifestyle on the river and whose frequent scams and cons force Huck and Jim to spend more time on land, removing them from their safe haven. The damage and uprooting the Duke and the King could do to the detachment from civilization and home Huck and Jim had made for themselves on the raft reaches its limit when they sell Jim to the Phelps farm for a profit. Huck’s literal attitude is puerile. He views his surroundings in a sensory manner. His environment is constructed and solidified by what he sees and hears. On the contrary, Huck displays an uncanny astuteness that goes beyond his years. It may not immediately be apparent because of his age, but becomes evident when he subconsciously conveys to his readers that beneath the illusion of a carefree world is a country filled with self-doubt. Because of Huck’s literal outlook, he comes across a realistic revelation. After a confusing and difficult internal battle between right and wrong, Huck firmly states “All right, then, [he]’ll go to hell” (195), confirming his decision to steal Jim out of slavery again. The decision is based on emotion as well as Huck’s usual logic and pragmatism, his underlying subversiveness, and the continuous yearning for freedom Huck and Jim have shared since the beginning of their journey.
While Huck begins to carry out his plan to rescue Jim, Tom Sawyer reappears; although he does little good for the pair. He withholds the information that Miss Watson, in her dying will, proclaims Jim a free man, and instead allows and encourages a convoluted and risky plan to “free” Jim from the Phelps’ farm – a plan that in fact leaves Tom injured – for the sake of adventure. Tom’s Romanticism and...

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