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Essay on Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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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 succeed other works because of its innovative narrative style and inclusion of the southern vernacular, its realistic and relatable subject matter, and its portrayal of loyalty and strength in friendships, regardless of the consequences. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses several symbols, particularly the raft, the presence of the Duke and the King, and Tom Sawyer’s Romanticism contrasting with Huck’s Realism to illuminate one of the most prominent ideas in the novel; Freedom versus Civilization and the bondage of belonging to society.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the story of a young boy named Huck Finn, and an escaped slave, Jim, on their journey together down the Mississippi river on a raft, as well as through their moral, ethical, and human development. This journey leads them not only into difficult water currents, but also into various challenges with society. Huck and Jim’s shared and ultimate goal is to seek and find freedom; however, this desired freedom is sharply contrasted with the ever-present civili...


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...l sentiments just like whites, which cause them to become closer, as Huck proceeds to assist Jim in reaching freedom as well. The novel is engrossed by the constant search for freedom and presence of civilization. Even when Jim is legally freed from the bonds of Southern slavery, he remains heavily chained to the pillars of society Huck and the rest of the human race are enslaved to. Human perseverance, trust, and loyalty are embodied in Twain’s work through Huck and Jim’s sacrificial acts; however, this does not guarantee that they are fully able to overcome the social obstacles that are placed before them. The Mississippi River symbolizes life, and everyone will continue to flow down it. Huck and Jim will always be searching for their freedom; freedom from society, freedom from themselves, freedom from life, because only in death will one be given true freedom.



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