Essay on Huckleberry Finn: A Freudian Perspective

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In Mark Twain’s American classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, we are told of the undertakings of the main character, Huck Finn. He is young, mischievous boy who distances himself from the torment of his home life by escaping with Jim, a runaway slave who is his only friend. As the novel continues, we find that the structure of Mr. Twain’s writing is redolent of certain aspects of Freudian psychology. More specifically, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn can be interpreted using the Oedipus complex ,which is one the defining works of Dr. Sigmund Freud. It basically states that a young male has an irrepressible subconscious desire to do away with his father so that he may be more intimate with his mother. Three …show more content…

To make the scene even more convincing, he takes a few of his own hairs and sticks them to the blade of a nearby axe and also drags the pig carcass out to the river, creating the drag marks in the dirt of a child sized body, adding to the perfect crime scene. As Huck is hiding in the woods,

he learns that everyone believes that he is deceased, which then allows him to escape from Pap, effectively “murdering” Huck’s fatherly figure.
The Mississippi River is a symbol for Huck’s maternal figure. According to the guidelines set down by the Oedipus complex, a male is subconsciously willed to become more intimate with his mother once his father is eliminated. This does not have to interpreted solely as physical intimacy, but as a need for closeness between the male and his maternal figure. The moment that Huck leaves his father, he needs a person or thing to guide him along. In this particular circumstance, it is the mighty Mississippi itself. For the first few days of his “life after death”, Huck is entirely dependent on the river for everything that he needs. In a sense, it is a pathway to a new life of freedom and clarity for Huck. Throughout the novel, Huckleberry seems to become closer with the river itself. This is accomplished by constantly being led to new and different places and opportunities that are available to Huck as the river moves him onward, which is one of the many roles of a maternal figure.

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