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Huck Finn: Freedom from Reality

  • Date Submitted: 02/22/2011 10:32 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.7 
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Freedom from Reality

In Mark Twain’s, Huck Finn, Huck seeks to escape oppression from his father and manages to fake his own death and runaway. Just after his escape, Huck meets Jim, a familiar runaway slave to who he regretfully decides to help. Along their journey they travel down the Mississippi River which comes to serve as an asylum away from the influences of society. While initially the river appears to offer freedom from the wrongs of society, it ironically brings them closer towards the oppression of southern society, and becomes an adventure very similar to Tom’s many adventures.
    Initially the river offers Huck and Jim physical and mental liberation from society. Searching for freedom, Huck and Jim learn that they need to use the river as their path to freedom. On the river, they find beauty, peace, and also discover that they make their own rules:

Sometimes we'd have that whole river all to ourselves for the longest time…maybe you could hear a fiddle or a song coming over from one of them crafts. It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. (1325)

In this passage, we see how life on the river opens them up to pondering new ideas and discovering new found appreciation for nature. Through a physical separation they are able to appreciate the friendship and liberation that nature offers. They recognize that they are away from society and now have only the stars, the sky and the river to guide them. This physical separation also gives them a sense of mental separation, where they are able to make their own rules and become open to ideas. When Huck says, “I was boss of it; it all belonged to me…” (1267), we see that Huck feels in this world he no longer has to listen to the rules of his previous life in society. This idea of liberation offers a sharp contrast to life in society for both Jim and...


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