Friendship in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Friendship in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Huckleberry Finn - Friendship

 

Mark Twain illustrates the theme of friendship through the characters Huck and Jim. Their friendship was created when Huck and Jim were put together due to common circumstances that take place throughout the novel. The friendship that was formed was constantly undergoing changes. Towards the end of the book the relationship that once existed as a simple friendship grew in to a father and son relationship. Huck and Jim were tools that Twain used to show just how the theme of friendship developed.

 

Huck and Jim were both running away from society for one reason or another. Huck was running in order to escape from the constraints of society and conformity, while Jim was trying to keep from being sold to another owner. At the time of their escape it was easy and convenient for the two of them to be together. "The nigger run off the very night Huck Finn was killed"...This quote explains what the two did in order to get away from society. The pair decided the best way was to run away from it all.

 

Huck and Jim's friendship undergoes many twists and turns along with the trip the two take down the Mississippi River. With each adventure their friendship grew stronger and deeper from their encounter with the Duke and the King to the riverboat scene the friendship is built one building block at a time. Throughout the novel Jim makes references to the kindness that Huck shows him, but Huck seems oblivious to their new found friendship. "Dah you goes, de ole true Huck; de on'y white genlman"...(pg. 89) When Jim made this statement Huck realized just how much this friendship meant to Jim.

 

The friendship between Huck and Jim is constantly changing with the chain of events. The two characters encountered many things while floating along with the pace of the Mississippi, such as making decisions. In the novel Huck was forced to make the decision whether or not he would turn Jim in because it would be the, "right thing" to do because Jim was a run-away slave. It was a close place. I took...up [the letter I'd written to Miss Watson], and held it in my hand.

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I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right then, I'll go to hell"...and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming. (pg.40) In saying this he decided against turning Jim in because their friendship had developed in such a way that he would be willing to make sacrifices for Jim, as if he were a son attempting to protect his father.

 

The illustrations of friendship expressed by Twain are given through the characters Huck and Jim. The two of them were conjoined because of similar circumstances, which affected their reasons for running away. Their friendship grew stronger over the length of time they spent together. Huck and Jim's friendship began as a convenient partnership, but they became friends due to their circumstances. The theme of friendship was a major portion of the events that took place in the novel.

 
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