Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Escape From an Oppressive Society

Powerful Essays
Huckleberry Finn - Escape From a Cruel and Oppressive Society

America... land of the free and home of the brave; the utopian society which every European citizen desired to be a part of in the 18th and 19th centuries. The revolutionary ideas of The Age of Enlightenment such as democracy and universal male suffrage were finally becoming a reality to the philosophers and scholars that so elegantly dreamt of them. America was a playground for the ideas of these enlightened men. To Europeans, and the world for that matter, America had become a kind of mirage, an idealistic version of society, a place of open opportunities. Where else on earth could a man like J. D. Rockefeller rise from the streets to become one of the richest men of his time? America stood for ideals like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. People in America had an almost unconditional freedom: freedom to worship, write, speak, and live in any manner that so pleased them. But was this freedom for everyone? Was America, the utopia for the millions of common men from around world, as great as the philosophers and scholars fantasized? America, as a society, as a country, and as a leader was not as picture perfect as Europeans believed. The United States, under all the gold plating, carried a burden of unsolved national problems, especially racial. The deep scar of slavery had left a dent in the seemingly impenetrable armor of the country.

From the times of early colonization to the late 19th century, Africans had been brought over by the thousands in overcrowded and unsanitary slave ships. They were sold like cattle to the highest bidder, an inhumane and despicable act that America, land of the free and home of the brave, allowed to happen...

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McKay, Janet H. "An Art So High." New Essays on Huckleberry Finn. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985. 61-81.

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