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Social Freedom In Huck Finn Essay

1248 words - 5 pages

One of the most prominent themes in Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, is freedom. To specify freedom in this paper, it is Huck’s conflict with his individual freedom over the evil limitations and immoral restrictions of society. His thirst for freedom and his struggle to distance himself from society forces Huck into many predicaments and conflicts which lead him into wild adventures. Though many people would argue that racism and slavery are the main them, I believe it is more Huck's struggle for absolute individual freedom. He is forced to face a number of different aspects of society, which make him choose between living a civilized life or a life of his own ...view middle of the document...

Huck is and individual and independent who has the willingness to live a life free of complications. As I stated before, Huck’s idea of right and wrong are actually higher than society’s morals. This is first shown when he is brought before the court to decide custody issues. The judge hands over the custody of Huck to Pap which forces Huck to live with and obey an evil and physically abusive man. This only further emphasizes Huck’s sense of right and wrong. Society’s viciousness and cruelty is symbolized by Pap. Pap’s character is a product of the decision made by his society. But this isn’t the only carless act carried out by the town. When Huck escapes from Pap by faking his own death, the town puts forth more effort to find his dead body, than they did saving him from the drunken and violent Pap. This is a society that is more anxious to find a dead body that it is with the safety of its own people.
In Chapter VI, Pap finds Huck and kidnaps him and confines him to a cabin the woods. This only further shows Huck’s need to escape from the corrupt boundaries of society. Being confined in the woods temporarily quenches Huck’s thirst for freedom. Huck actually prefers the freedom of the wilderness to the boundaries and limitations of society. Huck explains, “It was pretty good times up in the woods there, take it all around” (24). Freedom really becomes more prominent when Huck and Jim set out to float down the Mississippi River. This is where Huck shows his joy for freedom when he felt “mighty free and easy and comfortable on the raft” (128). Huck accepting Jim and protecting him bring peace to his soul. Ironically, Huck feels he is committing a sin by doing this, but doesn’t realize that his own instincts are more morally correct than those of societies. I believe his feeling of sin is actually a subconscious guilt towards deifying society’s limitations. This struggle that Huck has with his conscience in regard to helping free a runaway slave is interesting. It is again, a struggle to free his societal guilt. In his society, helping free a runaway slave has swift consequences. His societal conscious tells him, the way it has been instituted, that to help a runaway slave escape—to aid in stealing property from the widow, is an enormous sin that will carry him to a very dark and bad place. It is his affection for Jim that...

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