Racism Through the Decades: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Decent Essays
The main messages and themes of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are supported by the main symbols of the novel which are the raft, the river, and land. Themes of this novel are racism and equality, freedom, and the importance of friendship. The raft that Huck and Jim spent many days floating on symbolizes equality whereas the raft was the only place that they could speak together as equals despite the colors of their skin. The Mississippi river which Huck and Jim floated down shows how free they are compared to being on land. Land represents the exact opposite of the river. It shows how Huck and Jim don’t have freedom and aren’t equal. Eventually, Huck and Jim find out freedom and equality can only be found temporary and not last forever.
Without the raft, Huck and Jim wouldn’t have found freedom and equality in their lives.
In the novel, Huck says "we… let her [the raft] float wherever the current wanted her to; then we lit the pipes, and dangled our legs in the water, and talked about all kinds of things—we was always naked, day and night, whenever the mosquitoes would let us" This shows how Huck and Jim lived freely without anyone telling them what they can and can’t do. A raft is a floating platform that can barely be steered and only goes as fast as the river it’s on. The raft not being able to be steered symbolizes Jim’s life. He was born black and has no control over automatically becoming a slave because of his race. He didn’t choose to live his life this way.
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