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American Literature Themes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Decent Essays
To many readers, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is known as the “Great American Novel”. It tells a story about a young boy and an escaped slave who develop an unlikely friendship while traveling down the Mississippi River. Twain explores many American literature themes in his writing. Three themes that appear frequently throughout the novel are freedom, nature, and individual conscience. Freedom plays a significant role in the story because Huck is trying to free himself from Widow Douglas and his father and Jim is escaping from slavery. When Miss Watson and Widow Douglas took Huck in, they were determined to make him more civilized. They don’t allow him to smoke and they’re constantly reminding him to stop scrunching up…show more content…
When Huck runs away from his father, he goes down the river in a canoe that he found until he gets to Jackson Island. There he is able to relax and recharge while feeling “rested and ruther comfortable and satisfied” (44). While Huck is on the island, no one can find him and take him back to the widow or his father. He is safely hidden from everything he was trying to escape from. Jackson’s Island is where Huck and Jim find each other after they’ve both escaped and it’s the place where they first become acquaintances. “…it was Miss Watson’s Jim! I bet I was glad to see him” (49). In this moment, Huck and Jim are no longer on their own. From then on, they both had each other and nature to rely on to help them escape from what was holding them back. The river is the only place where Huck, a white boy, and Jim, a black slave, are able to interact as friends and form a deep level of bonding. Jim even tells Huck, “’Jim won’t ever forgit you, Huck; you’s de bes’ fren’ Jim’s ever had; en you’s de only fren’ ole Jim’s got now’” (106). In normal society at that time, a black and white would never have a friendship like theirs, but on the river there’s no one to see them interacting and judge them for it. Huckleberry displays individual conscience several times throughout the book when he makes the decision to not turn Jim in as a runaway slave. One foggy night, Huck and Jim get separated from each other and spend a lonely night apart. When they reunite in the
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