Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and the Theme of Nature

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The novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain has many different, intertwining themes. The book spotlights the personal growth and development of the protagonist, Huckleberry Finn, through the theme of nature. The importance of nature is shown in several ways like the symbolism of the Mississippi River, through the forest and Huck’s time spent living there, and by the argument of human nature versus civilization. While there are many different themes throughout the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the aspect of nature and its significance is extremely important and is vital to the plot and character development of the entire book.
The Mississippi River is one of the most important aspects of the novel. The Mississippi most importantly symbolizes freedom. To Jim, the river is almost literally his ticket to freedom. He plans to follow the river to the free state of Illinois. Even though this plan does not work out, the river becomes the only place he is free, and feels like a real person with Huck. They do not worry about getting caught on the river because they travel at night, when most people were in bed. Huck describes this scene in this quote:
Sometimes we’d have that whole river all to ourselves for the longest time. Yonder was the banks and the islands, across the water; and maybe a spark- which was a candle in a cabin window- and sometimes on the water you could see a spark or two- on a raft or a scow, you know; and maybe hear a fiddle or a song coming over from one of them crafts. (131)
On the river, skin color does not matter. Society does not matter.
The river also has the meaning of freedom for Huckleberry Finn. Huck initially runs away because he wants to get away from civilizat...

... middle of paper ... Mark Twain. The Mississippi River symbolizes freedom for Huck and Jim, as well as being their place of comfort. Nature is also a big part of Huck’s life because he is most comfortable living outside of civilization, in nature. Comparing Huckleberry and Tom, as well as showing how Huck has become affected by civilization, is important in supporting the human nature side of the human nature versus civilization conflict. In this novel, human nature has become more important than civilization because nature has taught Huck far more than living in society ever would. There are many themes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Although many of them are important in the book, the theme of nature and its significance is the most important in developing the plot, as well as showing the growth of the characters, namely the protagonist Huckleberry Finn.

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