The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

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Throughout the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn many themes are discussed. The themes as in every case mainly involve issues faced during the duration of the novel such as: racism and slavery, prejudices faced while exploring civilized society, superstition, and the importance of the Mississippi River. Mark Twain does an exceedingly excellent job combining all of these into what is highly regarded as essentially the best piece of American literature according to Ernest Hemingway it is at least: “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called ‘Huckleberry Finn.’”
Very early on in the book superstition is established as one of the main themes. It is revisited several times, and is never taken lightly for the most part. Huck is superstitious to a certain extent whereas Jim is extremely superstitious to the point that superstation is almost like a crippling fear for him. That he has to overcome as the novel goes on. One of the first themes surrounding superstition was Huck’s superstition of bad luck. “Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriveled up. I didn’t need anybody to tell me that was an awful bad sign and would fetch me some bad luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off me. I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my breast everytime; and then I tied up a little lock of my hair with a thread to keep witches away (Twain 110).” Another time Huck’s superstition of bad luck was shown in the story was when he accidentally spilled salt at breakfast. “One morning I happened to turn over the salt cellar at breakfast. I reached for some of it as quick as I could, to throw over my le...

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...h escape exists in the larger context of a continual drift southward, toward the Deep South and entrenched slavery. In this transition from idyllic retreat to source of peril, the river mirrors the complicated state of the South. As Huck and Jim’s journey progresses, the river, which once seemed a paradise and a source of freedom, becomes merely a short-term means of escape that nonetheless pushes Huck and Jim ever further toward danger and destruction.
Not only does the river symbolize freedom, but it symbolizes God. The river is God, it is the provider, providing them with food and tools they desperately need on their journey. It keeps them safe, while traveling on the river they risk being spotted and turned in which is especially important considering Jim is a runaway slave. The river is also a means of travel guiding them to their goal of escaping the south.
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