Symbolism in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain Essay

Symbolism in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain Essay

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Rivers flow freely and calmly, and people usually go to the river to get away from the hectic world around them. With nature surrounding them, people can find peace and quietness. The Mississippi River is the largest river in the United States. It’s length and width, along with its fast flowing current, makes it an ideal scene to escape civilization. In “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, the two main characters, Huck and Jim, find peace on the Mississippi as they spend endless nights floating down stream. Becoming civilized in society is a major theme in the novel and the Mississippi river helps Huck and Jim become uncivilized as it provides them with protection from the outside world, freedom, and adventure. The Mississippi River provides Huck and Jim protection from the civilized world around them. Miss Watson takes Huck in as a son, but Huck is not used to such restrictions: "she took me for her son, and allowed that she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time"(1). Miss Watson wants to civilize Huck by teaching him correct manners by telling him things such as: “Don’t put your feet up there, Huckleberry” and “Don’t scrunch up like that Huckleberry-set up straight” (2). Huck however, dislikes the way that Miss Watson is treating him. It makes Huck feel “so lonesome [he] almost wished he were dead” (4). Huck feels depressed when he is subjected to Miss Watson scorning. He prefers to control his own life, not have someone else control it for him. He is used to freedom. Huck feels that he belongs out under the stars where the community cannot tell him what to do. Like Huck, Jim is also under Miss Watson’s control. He is one of her slaves and does whatever she tells him to do. Once they ...

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...emaining close to the river, they always have an outlet incase something goes wrong. The Duke and Dauphin lead Huck and Jim on various adventures, from scams such as the Royal Nonesuch to pretending to be the long lost Wilkes brothers. The plans for these adventures are made at night when they are floating down the Mississippi River on the raft. This shows that the Mississippi River provides an outlet for adventure for Huck and Jim. The Mississippi River protected both Huck and Jim from the evils of society and civilization. The activities they did during the daytime, such as fishing and swimming in the river further removed them from the rules of society. The adventures they went gave them freedom and happiness. The Mississippi River allowed Huck and Jim to elude the normal clothing, eating habits, and daily routines that are usually followed in a civilized society.

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