Alter Ego


Contrasts Between Life On Land And Life Along The Mississippi River In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn - Poem by Alter Ego

Through the various events in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain presents the life of a young, adventurous character named Huck. This interesting character embarks on the Mississippi River through the novel along with a runaway slave named Jim. The Mississippi River serves as symbols of protection, retreat from society, and Huck's true morality. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain contrasts life on water to life on land through Huckleberry's experiences.

Mark Twain uses the Mississippi River as a symbol showing protection from danger. Several instances in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn include this contrast of the carefree and safe river and the dangerous and mischevious land. Huck and Jim encounter two con men, the King and the Duke, on land. The King and Duke put on a dramatic show for the town making them believe that they are the Wilks' brothers and are from England. Huck only knows the truth behind con men's tricks, and thus another troublesome event on land emerges. The Mississippi River actually protects him from all danger throughout the novel. Huck felt safe as he and Jim sailed along the Mississippi. 'I was powerful glad to get away from the feuds, and so was Jim to get away from the swamp, ' Huck narrates as he travels along the river with Jim after they left the town in which the feud broke out. Twain uses a couple of many other points in the novel to contrast the Mississippi River and the land in Huck's journey.

Miss Watson and her sister, Widow Douglas, both planned to 'sivilize' Huck throughout his childhood. They planned to do this by teaching him religion and manners. Through Huck's childhood, however, he does not grasp the ideas of religion and manners. He grows to ignore the society's way of tradition and fakes his murder to 'disappear' from society. Huck had the perfect escape plan, and sailed along the Mississipppi with Jim. The river illustrates Huck's escape from the 'sivilized' life on land to the 'mighty free and easy and comfortable life on a raft.' Huck experiences talking to a runaway slave and befriending and staying with him throughout his journey. This behavior would be illegal and unheard of in the society he lives on land, but on the raft he becomes a whole different person. Huck escapes from 'sivilized' society and embarks on an adventure with the Mississippi River guiding the way.

Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the Mississippi River serves as a symbol of how Huck realizes his true morality hidden behind the conformist mold that the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson forced him into. Huck finally breaks free from this very mold as he and Jim sail along the Mississippi and build an unbreakable friendship that lasts throughout the novel. Although Huck took on a new mold, he felt that he would have to pay consequences for helping a runaway slave. Huck becomes frightened and begins drafting a letter to Miss Watson to inform her of the situation. He stops and thinks for a minute about what Jim wants and realizes that he would rather help his friend to safety rather than betraying him. Huck then tears up this letter and says, 'I'll go to hell! ' stating that he would go to hell over heaven to remain loyal to Jim. This very event makes the reader realize that Huck is a nonconformist and is ready to go against all of society and laws in order to assist Jim in reaching the free states.

Mark Twain used his talent for writing through The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to explain the life and character of Huck throughout his childhood. In the book, he describes how Huck changes his views on slavery by spending most of his time with a runaway slave named Jim. Huck also escapes the organized and civilized life society offers him, because he strives to be a nonconformist and to follow his moral standings in the end. He finds safety along the Mississippi as he travels through his life. The river serves as an excellent symbol of Huck's dream life, and illustrates escape, safety, and the nonconformist aspect and changes Huck fought through.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 6, 2010



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