The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is a novel about a
young boy’s coming of age in the Missouri of the mid-1800’s. The main
character, Huckleberry Finn, spends much time in the novel floating
down the Mississippi River on a raft with a runaway slave named Jim.
Before he does so, however, Huck spends some time in the fictional town
of St. Petersburg where a number of people attempt to influence him.
Before the novel begins, Huck Finn has led a life of absolute
His drunken and often missing father has never paid much
attention to him; his mother is dead and so, when the novel begins, Huck
is not used to following any rules. The book’s opening finds Huck living
with the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson. Both women are
fairly old and are really somewhat incapable of raising a rebellious boy
like Huck Finn. Nevertheless, they attempt to make Huck into what they
believe will be a better boy. Specifically, they attempt, as Huck says, to
“civilize” him. This process includes making Huck go to school, teaching
him various religious facts, and making him act in a way that the women
find socially acceptable.
Huck, who has never had to follow many rules in
his life, finds the demands the women place upon him constraining and
the life with them lonely. As a result, soon after he first moves in with
them, he runs away. He soon comes back, but, even though he becomes
somewhat comfortable with his new life as the months go by, Huck never
really enjoys the life of manners, religion, and education that the Widow
and her sister impose upon him.
Huck believes he will find some freedom with Tom Sawyer. Tom is
a boy of Huck’s age who promises Huck and other boys of the town a life
of adventure. Huck is eager to join Tom Sawyer’s Gang because he feels
that doing so will allow him to escape the somewhat boring life he leads
with the Widow Douglas. Unfortunately, such an escape does not occur.
Tom Sawyer promises much-robbing stages, murdering and ransoming
people, kidnapping beautiful women-but none of this comes to pass. Huck
finds out too late that Tom’s adventures are imaginary: that raiding a
caravan of “A-rabs” really means terrorizing young children on a Sunday
school picnic, that stolen “joolry” is nothing more than turnips or rocks.
Huck is disappointed that the adventures Tom promises are not real and
so, along with the other members, he resigns from the gang.
Another person who tries to get Huckleberry Finn to change is
Pap, Huck’s father.
Pap is one of the most astonishing figures in all of
American literature as he is completely antisocial and wishes to undo all
of the civilizing effects that the Widow and Miss Watson have attempted
to instill in Huck. Pap is a mess: he is unshaven; his hair is uncut and
hangs like vines in front of his face; his skin, Huck says, is white like a
fish’s belly or like a tree toad’s. Pap’s savage appearance reflects his
feelings as he demands that Huck quit school, stop reading, and avoid
church. Huck is able to stay away from Pap for a while, but Pap kidnaps
Huck three or four months after Huck starts to live with the Widow and
takes him to a lonely cabin deep in the Missouri woods. Here, Huck
enjoys, once again, the freedom that he had prior to the beginning of the
He can smoke, “laze around,” swear, and, in general, do what he
wants to do. However, as he did with the Widow and with Tom, Huck
begins to become dissatisfied with this life. Pap is “too handy with the
hickory” and Huck soon realizes that he will have to escape from the
cabin if he wishes to remain alive. As a result of his concern, Huck makes
it appear as if he is killed in the cabin while Pap is away, and leaves to go
to a remote island in the Mississippi River, Jackson’s Island.
It is after he leaves his father’s cabin that Huck joins yet another
important influence in his life: Miss Watson’s slave, Jim. Prior to Huck’s
leaving, Jim has been a minor character in the novel-he has been shown
being fooled by Tom Sawyer and telling Huck’s fortune.
Huck finds Jim
on Jackson’s Island because the slave has run away-he has overheard a
conversation that he will soon be sold to New Orleans. Soon after joining
Jim on Jackson’s Island, Huck begins to realize that Jim has more
talents and intelligence than Huck has been aware of. Jim knows “all
kinds of signs” about the future, people’s personalities, and weather
forecasting. Huck finds this kind of information necessary as he and Jim
drift down the Mississippi on a raft.
As important, Huck feels a comfort
with Jim that he has not felt with the other major characters in the novel.
With Jim, Huck can enjoy the best aspects of his earlier influences. As
does the Widow, Jim allows Huck security, but Jim is not as confining as
is the Widow. Like Tom Sawyer, Jim is intelligent but his intelligence is
not as intimidating or as imaginary as is Tom’s. As does Pap, Jim allows
Huck freedom, but he does it in a loving, rather than an uncaring,
fashion. Thus, early, in their relationship on Jackson’s Island, Huck says
to Jim, “This is nice. I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else but here.” This
feeling is in marked contrast with Huck’s feelings concerning other
people in the early part of the novel where he always is uncomfortable
and wishes to leave them.
At the conclusion of chapter 11 in The Adventures of Huckleberry
Finn, Huck and Jim are forced to leave Jackson’s Island because Huck
discovers that people are looking for the runaway slave. Prior to leaving,
Huck tells Jim, “They’re after us.” Clearly, the people are after Jim, but
Huck has already identified with Jim and has begun to care for him. This
stated empathy shows that the two outcasts will have a successful and
rewarding friendship as they drift down the river as the novel continues.
Cite This Work
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“You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” but that ain’t no matter. that book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There were things which he streched, but mainly he told the truth. That ain’ nothing. I never seen anybody but lied, one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybr Mary. Aunt Polly-Tom’s Aunt Polly, she is-and Mary, and the Widow Douglas, is all told bout in that book-which is mostly a true book; with some, as I said before.
Any way I am here to tell you somethings bout this man that has write ll these things bout our adventures. So listen an maybe you might even learn a little something bout this man. Now let me think…. oh ya, now I recall it. I reckon it was a warm November ju’s like any other, the 30th to be exact. But that ain’t how Sam’s Pa spoke of it. He had to go maki’n big, fancy speeches and things of that sort at the party. But after all that mubl’in we had a purdy good time. As a matter of fact as I recall that day it was almost pur’fect.
If it warn’t for me drunk Pa gettin arrested by the Sheriff that morn, it woudda’ been real pur’fect. Course I reckon a boy’s gota have a good time t his best friend’s bert’day party. I was at Sam’s house. Course I warn’t de only one dare. His Pa, Judge Clemens and Ma, Miss Jane Lampton, till she married of course, was dare and I reckon his whole ‘tire family must da been at dat house, can’t barely remember it was only his fourth birthday back in 1839 (Howard 1). Ya, me and Sam been friends ever since he moved here, best friends too, he was born an lived in Florida, Missouri prior to now. He moved here at the start of this year.
See lots of people don’t give me much thought cause me bein uneducated and havin a Pa like I do an all. That all changed though, Sam was the type dat even liked the niggers, so I be surprised if he thought of me differently than any other (Paine 4). Sam’s family had’nt got that much money either but his Pa sure was one of them educated types. He was a lawyer and a judge and people looked up to him for jus dat (Howard 5). Actually, speakin of money I had some myself, bout 6,000 dollars. Ya, I was rich ever since Tom and I had gotten them bandits. Tell ya the truth, money did’nt really mean much to me anyways cause I liked livin simple an all.
But some people spend all their time day dreamin bout the stuff. Sam’s Pa and Sam certainly had somethin in common then cause Judge Clemens is always thinkin of all these ways to be prosper. And Sam jus day dream bout what ever he could think of (Howard 11). Guess I would do the same if I was forced to sit in a school house some days myself. Now your probably thinkin why I said most in sted of all weekdays, well Sam did’nt care for his schoolin much and often played hooky (Paine 14). Ya see, cause of Sam’s funny personality he was often switched. Ol’e Mrs. Elizabeth Horr could never forget that mam’s name.
Ya see dat was Sam’s teacher, he did’nt think of her as that though. In Sam’s mind Mrs. Elizabeth was a jail keeper (Eaton 27). So we use ta go in sit at the port. Hannibal, Mississippi was where we lived, an it was a big river town (Encarta 1994). Sam loved them steam boats, he could sit dare an look it em all day, and he usually did. Course me bein his best of friends was always there wit em, did’nt care for em much myself so Sam would always make up stories, and adventures to says we was doin, when all we was really doin was lookin at boats, and missin school of course. Sam had many of brothers and sisters.
I reckon he was never the lonely type cause he had many of siblins. There was Pamela, who was eight years older han ourselves. She was well schooled and all, I reckon she even liked it! (Howard 5). Orion was eight years older too. Then there was Benjamin, never got to know him well cause he died at only ten and there was the little brother, Henry (Paine 16). Anyways, our schoolin continued, dull as ever. Well before we known it we had ourselves out that school. So Sam was not really sure bout what he wanted to do with em’self, so to make some money he followed his brother, Orion (Encarta).
Ya see Orion had ju’s bought himself a local printin press. The only article prior to the Hannible Press was the Courier so now Hannible had tself two papers (Howard 115). Now durin this time Sam had been workin for a Mr. Ament, another local printer, for round two years. So Sam worked under his older brother bein the printer for the paper (115). Well it was most unfortunate that they seems to be carryin some bad luck on their shoulders from the beginn’in. The press caught on fire, it was only a small one but them fire fighters did’nt help the problem much when they doused the water all over the equipment.
Anyways that there was the least of their problems. Back around that time an epidemic struck the Mississippi. Cholera struck hard and devastated many of people. Now cause people could’nt work they had to make trades for goods, and barterin did’t do much good for Sam and Orion (117). But they were no quitters, they stuck to it and Sam started gettin bored of write’in the same ol’e things so he turned a little creative. Sam bein born funny, started slippin jokes in the paper and made up names to call himself (119). Well Orion wanted a proper, ol’e fashioned kinda paper.
This caused for some quarrel’in in between the two and I reckon Sam could’n stand for it no longer, so he grab himself his belongings and left for St. Louis to visit his sister Elizabeth and find himself a job. He did’t plan on stay’in there for long though. Sam only wanted to make enough money to go to New York (Paine 52). Well Sam’s plans did not exactly go as he reckoned they would. He had many print’in jobs cross the whole country. Dur’in this time Sam met a fella named Burruogh. He was in to literature and was a well read man. He had quite the influence on Sam and turned him on to read’in.
Eventually, Sam returned back in St. Louis and worked for the Evening News. Well by this time it was spring and Orion got himself a wife and moved to Iowa. Sam came to visit his brother in Iowa and found Henry, his younger brother, now 17, there too. Well life was like ol’e times for a while. The three brothers lived together in Orion’s house. This is the period of time when Sam was turned on to music. It happened after a music teacher, who lived on the floor below, was flat out sick and tired of be’in the focus of Sam’s noise and pranks that they would play on him.
He would come upstairs to reprimand them. Sam would usually reply with one of his regular wise cracks but one day Sam tried som’in a bit out the ordinary. In an attempt to be funny he was overly polite to the teacher. To his surprise, the man was nice back and before you could blink your own eye Sam was a musician (60). He was bout 20 years of age now and was quite the ladie’s man. But don’t think for a second that Sam was close to a gentleman. The ladie’s along with everybody else liked Sam for his outgo’in personality.
Although he was a partier dur’in the sun’s hours at night you could predict that the only place he would be found was in his bed, propped up by a pillow, smok’in his pipe and read’in a book (61). Life was good for the boys and not a day passed without a laugh. Unfortunately good things can only last so long. Orion’s paper was not mak’in him enough to cover his expenses. After much struggl’in he wrote home in istraught to his mama, who was now liv’in with Pamela. The note told of an adventure that Orion would go on in the Amazon (62). His interest was sparked after read’in a book by Lynch and Henderson.
The book told of the riches that could be found there in the mines of the rain forest. Now if you have’nt gotten the idea that Sam was the adventurous type, you have’nt been listen’in proper, cause thats what he lived for! If you think that Sam would miss a chance to not only ride on a steam boat to South America but also go on an adventure in the Amazon you are beyond fix’in (64). Anyway it took him round a year to raise nough money to go to the Amazon but he finally had it and set forth on the Paul Jones down the Mississippi to New Orleans.
Sam reckoned the voyage would take bout a week of time but his foresee’in was more than just a bit off (70). Horace Bixby was cap’tn of the boat. I reckon his day started off jus as any other, that is until he met Sam of course. It all happened when Horace spotted that a man, now 21 years of age, had been star’in at him for hours. When Horace’s shift was over he left the pilot house. As soon as he opened that door Sam was in his face ask’in questions bout his job and how liked it. Their onversations and friendliness kept for the rest of the trip. But at the end Sam left it jus like all the other passengers.
Sam noticed an ol’e dock hand lean’in up against a pole. Sam was down right puzzled when the man laughed at Sam’s question. He replied There have never been no steamers sail’in to the Amazon round here! It was then and there when Sam realized that the Mississippi was his river and that pilot’in it had been his biggest dream. So Sam went search’in for Bixby and found em too. He asked him if he could be a cub on the boat and Bixby had no problem with it cause Sam had been so friendly and all. So Sam worked the river for four years and ventually became himself a cap’tn (Howard 122).
Word got around that Sam was one of the best cap’tns on that river. Mr. Bixby was proud and Sam loved that river more than life it’self and planed to spend it on the Mississippi (133). I’m sure he woulda done it till he was able to but someth’in came up. One night there was a horrible accident. There was a ship who’s had them selves a boiler explosion. Henry was on that boat and went to swim to a nearby shore. But Henry heard scream’in and went back to save people. He never made it and drowned. This was not the only thing that made Sam depressed these days (Paine 91).
Unfortunately when Sam turned 26 years of age boats were halted go’in up and down the river cause of the war. Ya see the Yankees has been on us bout how slaves are immoral and all, and them plantation owners would’n got no notes if it warn’t for their niggers (133). So as anyone coulda guessed the country broke out into an all out brawl over the matter. Course this meant dat any man worthy of any respect at all was go’in to fight for em selves and their good ol’ e south, so for a short period of time he did but Sam thought that slavery was rong.
He felt for it so strong that he woulda joined emself en the Yank’s side but he would be fightin his friends and neighbors (Howard 134). By this time Orion’s print’in business had failed. But Orion’s second cousin was a rich boy. He was able to fix up Orion with a proper job. Nevada was a new territory and it needed itself a Territorial Secretary. This job was much like be’in a governor and was considered a real honor. There was one problem left to resolve. It would take Orion all of one-hundred and fifty dollars. Well that was no problem that Sam could’nt solve cause he had himself hree-hundred dollars right in his own pocket.
Now if I am do’in my math proper this would mean that two people would have themselves a ticket to Nevada. Well I must to done it right cause they did jus’ that. Sam’s plan to make money would be to mine silver (135). Well Sam’s luck at min’in was not very prosper. He barely made enough to survive the winter. But although times were tough he was always able to make his colleagues and himself laugh dur’in the worst of times. Dur’in this period Sam would write humorous letters to Orion. Well Orion knew of his li’l brothers problems. In an attempt to help him he showed Sam’s letters to the local paper.
The owner of the Territorial Enterprise found exactly what he wanted (137). It was August when Sam started writ’in for the paper. But prior to writ’in a stitch Sam wanted to create a name for himself that would stick. He thought long and hard, think’in how great life used to be on the Mississippi. Suddenly his eyes took on a glare and his face was perplexed. He had a big smile on his face and through his smil’in mouth came the words Mark Twain. It was a river term that told the cap’tn how deep the water was (15). Well Sam though he had good ideas bout write’in so he set off o be a free lance writer. To make money in between he mined for gold.
One day while sitt’in on a rock next to the mountain side he heard some men talk’in of frog races. This took Sam’s mind to the past, his uncle use to have a pet frog. So he started write’in what came to mind and before he coulda known it himself he had a completed story in front of his eyes (142). Sam sent his story to a local newspaper. Well The Bullfrog Of Calaveras County was the talk of the town! Before he known it himself Sam stories were be’in published all over the country (143). I reckon it was late May of 1864 when Sam left for the West coast. Twain’s reason for leav’in Nevada for California was because of a duel.
The duel was really somewhat of a publicity stunt. It was arranged in between Sam and a rival paper to the Call, the paper that Sam was write’in for (Paine 137). When Sam got there he found the city filled wit beautiful flowers and roll’in green hills. Sam found the location perfect for his write’in. He was relaxed here and could concentrate (Eaton 143). Sam’s job was to venture out into the city’s night life. It was filled with shows and entertainment! Sam’s job was to report and critique the shows he attended, he loved it at first but soon got ick of all the lights and glamour (145). But Sam kept at it.
He had one reason for wak’in up every day. You see Sam joined a literary group, it was his moment of sunshine dur’in an otherwise dismal day (146). But Sam could barely take the his monotonous job for another day, he was bout to quit when BOOM. Now I have never been to the West myself but Sam told me out there they have these happen’ins they call earthquakes. It must be strange to be in one. Everything shakes and whole build’ins can fall down! Anyways for Sam this earthquake brought bout much to write about. For many days he made reports bout what appened to people and their homes and things of the sort.
But eventually California got themselves some carpenters to fix everyth’in and that was the end of that topic (146). So I reckon you believe how happy Sam was when he got word from Joe Goodman to rejoin the Enterprise. Sam would act as their Western reporter and would free to write bout what ever he chose (147). Well every thing was go’in fine until Sam’s friend and roommate Steve Gillis almost killed a barkeeper! He was put in jail for attempted murder. So be’in the kind that Sam was, he posted his friend’s bail. Well the word got out that this barkeeper was friends ith the Sheriff.
This meant that Steve had no chance of gett’in a fair trial. So like any man would, Steve fled to Virginia. Well when he did’nt show up in court they went after Sam’s bail money. But no worry, cause Sam got word of it before they found him. Steve’s brother Jim came to town and told Sam that he could stay with him in his cabin in the Tuollumne hills (148). Jim was what was called a pocket miner. These people were miners that would look for gold in abandoned mines. So Sam learned the trade of pocket min’in. They roamed area which is now Yosemite park scout’in for gold. Sam did this for weeks mak’in enough to urvive (149).
Eventually Sam’s short attention span caught up with him. Like every thing else Sam got sick of min’in and be’in so far away from, well, everything! So he set down his pails and headed back to San Fransico (150). Upon his return Sam was contracted by the Sacremento Union to write some stories bout the Hawaiian group. Well within moments Sam had himself on a boat to the islands. He would often refer to his time on the islands as one of the best in his whole, ttire life, a golden memory as he put so himself . Sam was in his 30s, his prime and was filled with adventure and energy.
He traveled all ver the island and sent back detailed reports (Paine 148). California and Sam himself were both amazed with the write’in that Mark Twain was creat’in. Sam wanted to refine his skills and better himself. His first step toward his goal was to return to California (150). Sam begun to give lectures, at the start of it they were refined to San Fransisco and then to the state. The results were amazing. I don’t think I have ever seen so many of people in one room before! Well cause of these results Sam ventured out to many big cities of the country.
Now if you were to pick one place where the most people were would come to see Sam’s lectures were would you go? New York, New York of course (160). The lectures that Sam gave in New York were probably what kicked off his pathway to national fame (162). Dur’in his travels Sam met a man named Charles Langdon. They became good friends. Sam spent Christmas in New York with Charles. It is here where he met Olivia Langdon (Eaton 178). It was love at first sight, I must say she was a mighty fine woman, she was! The two stared at each other through out dinner at the Langdon’s house.
Olivia found Sam the most interest’in person she had ever met (179). They saw each other again on New Year’s Day and became even ore friendly with each other, even more than prior (182). Duty called Sam to Washington, where he would give two speeches. At this point Sam’s life took a turn. He realized that he was not meant to be a reporter but an author (183). He started write’in quickly, his goal was to finish a manuscript as soon as possible (184). The result was The Innocent Abroad Sam’s first novel. The story told of Sam’s trip on the Quaker , a large sailboat, with six other men.
He was on the ship to tour Europe and lecture in the some of the big cities (163 Paine). In the meantime Sam was invited to spend two days with the Langdon amily. Everyone was happy to see him. For two days he tried to lure Olivia towards engag’in her in some personal conversation (186 Eaton). Within a short period of time Sam had convinced Olivia into marry’in him (187). February 2, 1870 was the day that Sam finally got married, well I can say it was bout time! He did not want to separate the Langdon family so Sam decided to move nearby to Olivia’s home town, Elmira, so Sam and his new wife moved to Buffalo, New York (190).
Almost as soon as the couple moved in they experienced themselves some problems. Olivia’s father passed away leav’in her grief stricken. Olivia got erself into a state of depression, mak’in her weak and confined her to her bed. In November the couple had a premature baby boy named Langdon. But instead of bring’in the family joy it worsened them. Because the baby was born early it was weak and sickly, not to good. How could a man possibly concentrate in such a mess? Well he simply could’nt! Sam noticed that ever since they moved to Buffalo his wife and himself were not the happy people they used to be (192).
So when Sam received the invitation to spend the summer at Quarry Farm from Mrs. Crane there was no doubt in his mind to accept. Mrs. Crane was the sister of Olivia’s mama. She lived on a farm that had huge views of roll’in green hills which helped to inspire Sam an his write’in (186 Paine). By the end of the summer, Sam had finished his book, Roughing It. It was bout his adventures out in the western territory. At the summer’s end the family chose on mov’in to Hartford, Connecticut, a thriv’in city that was filled with literary publishers and clubs of that sort (Paine 189).
1872 was a year of change for Sam and his family. In March his second child was born Susy Clemens. But three months later Langdon died of a heavy cold (198). Later that year Sam’s adventures spanned to England, his mission as to collect information bout their customs for a new book that he planned to start. He returned in November that same year. His plans changed, Sam abandoned his idea and started a new fiction book called The Gilded Age. It was well known and loved by many people, jus like all of his other write’ins of course. Lov’in England so much, Sam returned there with his family.
He stayed himself there for a complete two years. Dur’in this time he had met with many famous authors and lectured all over England (199). On his arrival home Sam started write’in Tom Sawyer. It was bout his child hood :grow’in up on the Mississippi. It was to be one of his most famous books (200). I guess he must ‘ av been feel’in mighty high spirited cause Sam continued on write’in. He wrote Sketches New and Old which would have been a tremendous seller if it were by any other author, but for Sam it was a relatively small potatoes (209). Sam’s next big accomplishment was The Prince and the Pauper , his first play.
The story was bout Henry VIII. Sam got the idea after read’in The Prince and the Page, a well known story (219). By now Sam had himself three children Susy, Clara and Jean (Howard 157). It was at this time when Sam decided to write The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Eaton 217). Now Sam wrote many a books but this was by far the most excellent thing that was ever written, and I can’t help lik’in the name of it! It sold like a madman, bring’in Sam tons of letters and comments bout his novel. After write’in many famous books Sam did someth’in he had been long’in for. Sam returned to the Mississippi.
There he met up with some ole friends and saw ole sites. For a moment Sam was liv’in his child hood. Everybody he knew had read all of his books and the all the people decorated their town for Sam’s return. As Sam stepped off the boat he said Has Missouri changed the date of the 4th of July? Howard 166). The next day Sam was invited to attend the christen’in of a new steam boat. The champagne bottle cracked and the wooden planks that held it in place slipped off the ship reveal’in the name MARK TWAIN (168). Years later Sam laid in his bed. He was now an old man with only Clara left.
His whole family had died. He sat in bed remember’in how he had seen Halley’s comet when he was little. Now 77 years later Sam saw the comet again on the night of April 21, 1910. This was one of the lasts things he saw. Cause that night Sam passed into a long sleep that still has yet to end (173). I went on bein’ a sheriff in Montana. But this story ain’t bout myself, it’s bout my friend Sam. -Tom Blankenship a. k. a. : Huckleberry Finn Note: This paper was written in a dialect used by Huck. There are many spelling and grammatical errors but all are intessional (just kidding, bout –).
They are there to represent the dialogue of Huck. I have edited it many times to be sure ALL the errors now in the paper are intentional! I have sat through my spell check alerting me that almost every word was spelled wrong just to eliminate unintentional errors. The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn II In the novel The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn the setting has a large nfluence on Huck’s character. The period of time that Huck lived in was a distinct era. The country was changing rapidly. During this period steam engines enabled rivers to be used as mass transportation, an idea that had never been explored until now.
Waterways were the first way in which large amounts of goods could be transported efficiently. This drastically changed much of the nation’s economy. Huge factories were built in the north and southern plantations tripled their production by using machines. There were many traits of this era that can be seen by looking at the components of Huck’s character, his language, actions and thoughts. Some of these traits are sutle and can be easily missed but others are very obvious and powerful. This period of change was the setting of Huck’s childhood. One trait that is indicative of the era is the social class of Huck and Huck’s language.
It is greatly affected by his social class and setting. The broken English is a sign of Huck’s low social class. In addition it also shows that he is from a southern river town. This can be seen from his expressions and accent. The language of the novel also assists the reader to get into the laid back, southern mood of the book. By doing so the story is brought to life. It seems as if someone were to bring you back to the time when the novel and the events in it occurred. Because of the rules of the time that Huck’s character is governed upon, Huck was never educated.
During the early 1800s there was no law that required children to go to school, therefore his low intellect has a strong impact on Huck’s character. It gives him a plain and simple outlook on life, this trait can been seen throughout the book in Huck’s character. One specific area it affects is Huck’s plans for his future. Huck only thought about what he was going to do for present. Huck had an incapable father. He was thought of as he town drunk, and would often come home intoxicated and abuse Huck. At one point his father locked Huck up in a small room without food or water for days.
The setting is important here because if Huck’s father were to treat his son in an abusive manner today, he would lose custody of his child. A good example of Huck’s unloving relationship was Huck’s reaction to his father’s death. When notified of his death he was relieved and felt safe! This detail can be used to illustrate the abuse that Huck went through in the beginning of the book, while living with his father. Because of Huck’s father’s irresponsible actions, Huck an away at a young age in the hope that someday he would find freedom from his father and society. By running away Huck saved himself from abuse and being taken advantage of.
One of the things Huck saved himself from was having 6,000 dollars, that Huck was awarded for the capture of two criminals in Tom Sawyer, being stolen from him by his father. Huck’s separation from his father is also the reason for his free thinking, responsibility and innocence. These times of hardship formed him into a mature person and helped contribute to his independent personality. Without the influence of the setting Huck would have never been able to achieve the reedom that he had by being independent. When Huck ran away he joined up with Jim, who was also running away, but from something different.
Jim was fleeing from slavery, a common practice of the time. Huck’s relationship with Jim contributed to Huck’s non-prejudice thinking. Another factor that gave Huck a understanding of how the slaves must have felt was the prejudice that he experienced himself , being part of the lower class. Huck was infuriated when people looked down upon him for something that was no fault of his, he was born into the class because of his father’s social status. For these reasons Huck always treated Jim as an equal, making Huck ahead of his time. Jim knew that Huck respected him, as a result Jim risked his own life to save Huck.
Huck’s independence and lack of education resulted in a mind that was never influenced by adult’s beliefs. This allowed Huck to have thoughts based on what he believed in, not traditions that are simply carried on by messengers of the past’s beliefs. Although traditions are often good they prevent new ideas from entering people’s minds. This made Huck original, this individuality could be seen with his relationship with Jim. During this period f American history slaves were looked down upon, but Huck, being an independent thinker, looked up to Jim for who he was, not for the color of his skin.
This was made obvious by their moon lit conversations on the raft. On the raft Huck and Jim talked about their past and future, friends and how they planned to avoid trouble that could result from their next adventure. From the raft conversations the reader was able to see how Jim longed for freedom and had feelings just like everyone else, especially Huck. As the novel progressed Huck’s relationship with Jim grew stronger. In the beginning of the book Huck often called Jim Nigger Jim. This was not because of any hatred that Huck had towards Jim.
It was only a term commonly used to refer to blacks. But by the end of the book Huck would only call Jim by his name. This change in dialogue clearly illustrates how the relationship grew stronger during their adventures. By the end of the novel Huck risked his own life to free Jim in the final escape attempt. This happened when Huck and Tom freed Jim from a holding cell. They were spotted, chased and then shot at by the men who had captured Jim. If the story were to take place in another time, where slavery did not exist, it could have hid Huck’s individuality that slavery hed light on.
During the river adventures that Huck and Jim shared Huck realized that because of his economic status he was dependent on the river to survive. This can clearly be seen by looking at the origin of his name Huckleberry. He was given this name because at a young age he had been eating huckleberries. His dependence made him loyal to the Mississippi River. The personification of the river that Huck uses clearly shows his feelings and thankfulness to the river. The personification also helped show how important the river was to not only Huck but to all of the river towns.
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