Adventures of Huckleblerry Finn is about a tale of a young boy, Mark Twain who, goes on a life-changing mission and ends the adventure as a young man. Notably, on his mission, he meets different characters, which acquits him with various useful life lessons, which eventually transformed his life. The novel starts with Huck Finn's introduction as a successful adventurer with Tom Sawyer. Huck Finn assumes that readers know him from his past. Miss Watson and her sister Widow Douglas have given Huck refuge in their home to try and teach him religion and ethical behavior (Twain 23). Huck sneaks out at night, disobeying his custodians to join Tom Sayer's team. The gang assumes the roles of pirates and robbers. Huck discovers that his drunken and violent father, Pap Finn, has returned home. Huck has reservations about his father's objectives concerning his invested wealth. In the novel, the author narrates: Huck's father eventually kidnaps him and places him in a small cottage on the Illinois coastline. Notably, the novel explores multiples significant concerns including freedom, violence, racism, religion, and right versus wrong, however, through the incorporation of such aspects like major events, social climate, historical effects, other themes and the contributions of the author paper aims to focus on the theme of freedom and relevance of the novel.
Significant Events, Relevance and the Concept of Freedom
Huck adapts to the free world without religious education and schooling. However, his father's mistreatment becomes excessive, and he escapes to Jackson's Island (Twain 31). Huck fakes his murder to escape from his father's brutality. Freedom is a condition that should allow individuals to pursue their desires, happiness, and speak without any interference from an external party. The novel sheds light on the importance of individual freedom, which is no longer a question or debate in contemporary society. However, Hulk is a victim of freedom deprivation. Hence, the conflict between civilization and natural life portrays the themes of freedom, individuality, and independence, as seen through the eyes of Huckleberry Finn and Jim in their journey. At Jackson's island, Huck meets Watson's slave named Jim, who fears getting sold down the Mississippi River.
Huck and Jim discover that men have launched a chase for them. They escape down the river, with Huck's intention to land at Illinois town from where he can reach the Free States through the Ohio River. The move makes them confused and running away seems ideal. They do not see the essence of freedom in their current society since they cannot be allowed to make their expression making Hulk assert that he rather opt for a more severe life than to be deprived of his freedom. Documented in 1884, in a period of economic, social, and political instability in the United States, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered one of the greatest American works in history (Twain 76). Moreover, Crafted by Mark Twain, a humourist American writer, the book follows the adventures of Huck and Jim in their attempt to escape from society. Jim is a slave in search of freedom.
From when he was born, he has always been under the protection of a master and has always dreamt of a life where he is not a slave, where he doesn't have to work long hours, where he can help just me himself. Huck is a teenage boy, raised by his drunk father, who struggles to fit in society: Huck finds himself in a dilemma concerning the freedom of Jim due to his religious and societal beliefs on slavery. He, however, remains with Jim. The aspect of Jim's freedom and slavery plays out throughout the novel in Huck's conscience (Twain 46). Huck and Jim come across numerous characters during their escape, among them, a group of robbers in a wrecked steamboat and two Southerners families engrossed in a gruesome quarrel. Huck and Jim only enjoyed true liberty aboard the raft.
However, tranquility and freedom remained short-lived due to the appearance of the duke and the king (Twain 79). The duke and the king seized the raft and commanded Jim and Huck to sojourn at numerous river towns where they performed several animosities to the inhabitants. The king and the duke, at one point, fake their identity as English brothers to con a family of their total inheritance. The plan never worked out due to the sudden arrival of the actual brothers. In the ensuing confusion, Huck and Jim escape the scene. However, the duke and the king soon joined them. The duke and the king then sell Jim back into slavery to Silas and Sally Phelps. Huck poses as Tom Sawyer (nephew to the Phelps) to rescue Jim from captivity (Twain 212). However, Tom Sawyer arrives, and Huck explains the situation to Tom, who then poses as Sid (his brother).
Tom and Huck jointly plot an escape plan based on the fantasies of Tom after he dismissed the practical escape plot of Huck. Tom gets shot in the calf during the aborted escape plan, and Jim gets recaptured again since Jim would not leave the injured Tom. Ideally, the concept of freedom is so complex with a wide scope that must be redefined frequently from generation to generation, and the ideas and benefits of freedom can only be appreciated by individuals who have a sense in the past and high respect and understanding human nature. However, Huckleblerry Finn is a different tale, as this is not the case as a human being has been cruel against their fellows as the author notes. Night comes, and Jim is nowhere to be found, and in response, Hulk and Tom goes out in the night to find about Jim. Suddenly they hear they receive alarming news when Uncle Silas speaks about a runaway slave.
Moreover, he also mentions that, his son no permission to attend the show party in the town. Without much thought, Huck realizes that the Duke and the King have a hand in the disappearance of Jim (Twain 212). They become curious and decides to have an earlier retirement to bed. However, in the middle, if the night they sneak out of the window and goes to find out what is taking place at the town party. On the streets, as they are walking, a group of people comes down the party among them is King and Duke feathered and tarred. Huck feels sorry for them.
"Well, it made me sick to see it; and I was sorry for them poor pitiful rascals, it seemed like I couldn't ever feel any hardness against them any more in the world. It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another." (Twain 253)
Therefore, what does it mean to be free? This is a constant question that the reader reflects on throughout the novel: Now even Huck knows what he wants in life. He knows he wants freedom, but he is not sure what that means. Both Huck and Jim search for freedom, but both of them have two different ideas. From one side, Huck, who had been raised in a middle-class society, feels suffocated by the constant rules, the formal education. Jim searches to be released by Miss Watson to live a life for himself. Even if with different social and racial backgrounds, society pushes them to escape. Though they are both looking for something different from each other. Huck is looking for adventure, like his friend Tom Sawyer. Now that he has left his father, as no one owns him, he can go wherever he likes. On the other side, all that Jim wants is a simple life. He is looking to have the basic self-freedom; for example, he wants to reunite his family and live together. This shows how there is not only one definition of freedom and that even if they want the same thing (to be free), their final goal is distinctive. They are still both pushed by society to escape because it does not provide them with what they believe is freedom and independence (Twain 234). In the end, the reader discovers that it is the civilization that wins the battle of freedom, showing how it takes more than escaping to change society's morals. To change the future, people have to live and alter the present.
They have to face the problems, not escape from them because slavery is going to remain there if someone does not bring change. In the end, nature can protect someone to a minimum extent for a limited amount of time. The duke and the king execute their plan by posing as the English brothers in the chapter. The section oversees the reselling of Jim into slavery to the Phelps and the rescue initiative of Huck. The gives a detailed account of Huck's effort in questioning villagers to discover who had bought Jim without dwelling on the theme, notable characters, and the personalities of the protagonists and antagonists in the novel. However, the chapter gives a platform to the conclusion of the book, such as the recapture of Jim and Huck's rescue efforts that eventually led to Jim's freedom.
Jim was in a crossroad and dilemma of deciding his fate. Even if it meant that Jim was to remain a slave and Huck will be a captive to the widow. They both perceive their situations to be better than what they have previously undergone from home. However, Huck still has a desire to rescue Jim, prompting him to compose a letter to Miss Watson disclosing to her the location of Jim. Thinking of his relationship with Jim, Hulk realizes that despite writing the paper Jim would still be sold.
"It was a close place. I took up the letter I'd written to Miss Watson and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knew 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 were said. And I let them stay said, and never thought any more about reforming" (Twain 161).
The novel sheds light on how different people are affected by the concept of freedom. As the custom holds, people who enjoy or live in freedom tend to overlook its fragile nature and takes it for granted. On the other hand, people with little knowledge of freedom face difficulty in understanding its aspects and its applicability in the society. Therefore, we must embrace every life circumstance that confronts our paths since we never know when freedom can slip off our hand and when we can finally attain it. Furthermore, The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn is set during a specific period in United States history. It was the age of slavery just before the civil war. Freedom, life, happiness all cluttered away, for the many African Americans who were forced out of their houses, were separated from their family, and forced to go and work for a master, either in a plantation or for housekeeping.
People, especially Southerners, thought that the economic benefits overshadowed the overwhelming repugnance, immorality, and inhumanity of this practice. Many slaves tried to flee because the conditions they lived in were atrocious; they were beaten constantly, had to work long hours, and had to follow constant orders from their masters. Slavery and the idea to escape is a recurring theme and is exactly what happens to Jim. In a world where civilization condemns slavery while natural life acts as an innocent human who welcomes everybody, Jim is forced to flee in search for freedom and a better life and Huck is in a continuous dilemma over what is morally right: 'It would get all around that Huck Finn helped a nigger to get his freedom, and if I were ever to see anybody from that town again I'd be ready to get down and lick his boots for shame.' (Twain 230) Huck is struggling over two ideas: will he conform to society or choose what he truly thinks is best for him?
This is a conflict that follows Huck throughout the novel. With such amity between the two protagonists, Huck can't bring himself to write the Widow Douglas to inform her that her runaway slave is on the Phelps' property. Yet, despite his lessons in virtue, he f...
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