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

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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 and sit up straight (4). With the women always on his case, he isn’t able to be the independent, carefree boy that he really is. When Huck gets kidnapped by Pap, he’s grateful to be away from the widow’s house because it’s too “cramped up and sivilized” (30) for him there. Even though he’s free from the widow, his life is in danger if he stays with his drunk abusive, father. Huck’s goal is to “get so far away that the old man nor the widow couldn’t ever find me any more” (31). He’s able to do just that by coming up with a clever escape plan that tricks the whole town into thinking he’s dead. This leaves him free to do whatever he pleases, just like he wanted. Jim’s goal, however, is to escape from his slavery and help free his family.…