Huckleberry Finn and the Problem of Freedom

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Freedom cannot exist within any society, civilization, or country. Though, the United States is reputed for offering complete freedom and independence for all men, it continued for almost century after its establishment to enslave a select race of people. Neither does it offer unmitigated freedom to white people, because the liberties of separate individuals often come into conflict and cannot coexist. No country or place within society has yet reconciled this fact. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain asserts that comprehensive freedom does not exist for anyone within a society and can only be procured in solitude. Despite the claim made in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” the United States continued to allow and endorse the institution of slavery for many years. America is known throughout the world as the land of freedom and opportunity, yet a large percentage of its population was subject to bondage in society’s basement. “As Americans, we bow to no one in our official regard for freedom” (Pinsker), however, most Americans during the early eighteen hundreds were not aware that slavery is wrong. Few people understood the evil of slavery as an institution. Abolitionists and those who freed slaves were frowned upon by society and punished by law for their “crimes.” Fear kept many people from openly denouncing slavery. In the novel, Huck was especially worried that “it would get all around that Huck Finn helped a nigger to get his freedom” (Twain 203). Aiding an enslaved person was a shameful thing to do at this time in the South, however Huck decides to help Jim anyway and “go to hell” (Twain 205) for it. Many slaves were not as lucky and never did escape the hell of Southern slavery. The... ... middle of paper ... Each person has always been focused on gaining more power for himself; therefore, man has failed to establish a model for civilization to accommodate absolute freedom. If the human race is ever to achieve this goal, each man would first have to initiate reform within himself before the reconstruction of current society in favor of a utopia of freedom, independence and liberation could begin. Works Cited Pinsker, Sanford. “Huckleberry Finn and the Problem of Freedom.” Bloom’s Literature. Facts on File, Inc. Web. 7 Mar. 2014 Rasmussen, R. Kent. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Bloom’s Literature. Facts on File, Inc. Web. 11 Mar. 2014 Schmitz, Neil. “The Paradox of Liberation in Huckleberry Finn.” Bloom’s Literature. Facts on File, Inc. Web. 7 Mar. 2014 Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Clayton, DE: Prestwick House, 2005. Print.
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