Archetypes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

2048 Words9 Pages
In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain utilizes the archetypes of the Unwilling Hero, the Shape Shifter, and Haven vs. Wilderness to show that Huck Finn and Jim can find freedom all along the banks of the Mississippi River. Huck portrays the unwilling hero because he puts a lot of thought into something before he does it, even though it will benefit everybody. He is also very hesitant to perform heroic acts. The King and Duke show the archetype of the shape shifter because they are constantly lying about their identities and deceiving everybody. The Mississippi represents the characters “haven”, and Huck and Jim’s home represents the “wilderness”. Huckleberry Finn portrays the archetype of the unwilling hero.…show more content…
Having Huck step out of his comfort zone lead himself and Jim to freedom, but Huck would not have been able to show as much courage if it weren't for the archetype of the shapeshifter portrayed by the King and Duke. The Duke and King are always lying about their identity and changing their story, they deceive many people including Jim, threatening Huck and Jim's chance at freedom. The Duke and King began their role as shape shifters when they were first introduced in the novel. Huck and Jim were fooled by them for a bit, but it didn’t take long for Huck to figure out that these were con artists. Having two shape shifters aboard with them also got Huck to explore his role as the unwilling hero more. You can see this by the way he doesn’t want to say he knows who they really are. "It didn’t take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn’t no Kings nor Dukes at all, but just low down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing, never let on; kept it to myself; it’s the best way; then you don’t have no quarrels, and don’t get into no trouble." (page 125). The King and Duke scammed a whole town out of $87.75 by making up a make story just to make some quick money. "He told them he was a pirate-been a pirate for thirty years…he’d been robbed last night and put ashore off of a steamboat without a cent…and put in the rest of his life trying to turn the pirates into the true path" (page 131) Because
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