Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn Essay

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Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn

No one who has read the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain can deny not seeing the faults of the civilized world that Twain so critically satires. This element of the novel plays the perfect backdrop to the thing Twain uses to compare civilization with: The ideal way of living. Every time the main characters Huck and Jim are away from the influences of the civilized world, Twain’s vision of the ideal way of living reveals itself to the reader. By observing the things that occur when Huck and Jim are in the influences of the civilized world and when they are not, we can see the vast differences that lie between these two elements.

The first glimpse that we get of the
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Pap, the person most responsiable for Huck’s welfare, is the person who abuses Huck the most. Even though Huck is outside of the civilized world’s grasp when he lives with Pap, this is not the freedom Huck is looking for. Pap is in every respect the exact opposite of Jim. Where Jim is caring, sensitive and fatherly towards Huck, Pap is selfish, cruel and dirty.

After he fakes his own death to escape from Pap, Huck flees to Jackson Island in order not to be discovered. Jackson Island is also where Huck and Jim accidentally run into each other while running away from society. While their reasons for running away are clearly different, they decide to run away together. This is where Twain's concept of the ideal way of life is first presented in the novel . They both share a common desire to find freedom, and this leads them to help each other out, despite the fact that Jim is a runaway slave and Huck is agonizing over whether to turn Jim in or not to[44-54].

The location of Huck and Jim’s hideaway in the novel changes when Huck finds out people are trying to capture Jim. Their home then turns into a raft floating on the Mississippi. On the raft, Huck and Jim view each other as equals, not as a slave and a runaway. All of their needs are met while onboard. When they get hungry, they fish. When they get bored, they talk to each other. They rely on each other and the Mississippi, with no assistance from the civilized world
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