Freedom in My Jim, by Nancy Rawles and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

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As the catalyst of dreams, freedom is yearned for, and defines all Americans.

Life. Liberty. The Pursuit of Happiness. These ideas bring Americans together, and

create a common definition for freedom. Freedom has become the genesis for some of

the most influential revolutions in history. Though valued by many, it is also taken for

granted by those unaware of how much it truly costs. Only through hardship can one

truly find insight as to freedomʼs true worth. Especially apparent in literature, it drives

nearly every character to action, and causes countless unions and divisions. While

both works explore the importance of freedom, The Adventures of Huckleberry

Finn (1884) by Mark Twain is focused on the idea that freedom sparks a change in

people; in contrast, My Jim (2005) by Nancy Rawles explores the idea that while

freedom gives us a chance to explore new aspects of life, it may cost us our

innocence.

! Freedom as the catalyst for change is evident in many literary works; best

represented by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Initially, Huck Finn is a boy

with a very limited view of the world. His father is a drunk, which causes him to be

shuffled between his true home and the widowʼs estate. Consequently, Huckʼs

rebellious nature (one that longs for freedom) is seen very early in the novel, with his

reluctance to be “sivilized”, and his escape to Jacksonʼs Island. Once the journey to free

Jim begins, Huckʼs level of self-confidence and understanding seems to skyrocket. It is

very evident that Huck enjoys life on the river, especially in the dialogue: “Other places

do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft donʼt. You feel mighty free and easy

Noah Boksansky

Block 6

8/26/10

and comfortable on a raft.”...

... middle of paper ...

...me point in their life. Sometimes, the question

all must face is what they are willing to give up to gain it. Though birds fly freely through

the air, at times they need to land and rest for a while. Freedom is ours to manipulate

and use as we wish, but once in a great while, we need to stop and think about what

countless people have gone through in the past to gain that freedom. It comes at a price

that some cannot begin to imagine. One may never know of the sacrifices that have

been made throughout history to give us freedom, but an essential practice to follow is

giving thanks. For the freedom earned, for the sacrifices made, and the dreams that we

are able to have. Many take it for granted, but one does not need to think in that way.

See through the hardship, the challenges, the trials, and tests, and it will truly become

clear that freedom is not free.

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