Freedom in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Sierra Nichols on …

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Huckleberry Finn – Freedom

 

In the novel The Adventures Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, a theme of freedom is portrayed. Freedom takes on a different perspective for each character in the novel. In Jim, the runaway slave, and Huck’s, the mischievous boy, journey, they obtain freedom. Jim’s hunt for freedom is an escape from the clutches of slavery, while Huck’s is a flight from the civilized world. Their hunting for freedom is for one reason, for their happiness. This is shown throughout the novel in Jim’s desire of escaping slavery and Huck’s wish for being uncivilized.

From the beginning of the novel, Jim lives his life as a slave. He is fairly content until one day, when he overhears his owner, Mrs. Watson, talking about selling him to New Orleans. Jim becomes terrified and runs from Mrs. Watson. From that point on in the novel, Jim turns into a runaway slave. His journey with Huck down the Mississippi river begins with only the fear of being caught as a runaway slave. Later in the journey, Jim starts to yearn for freedom from slavery. This is manifested in this quote when Huck describes Jim’s reactions about being free in Cairo, “Jim said it made him all over trembly and feverish to be so close to freedom” (97). Jim’s excitement is also demonstrated in more actions about Cairo as Huck describes more, “Jim was fidgeting up and down past me. We neither of us could keep still. Every time he danced around and says, “Dah’s Cairo!”” (97) Jim’s excitement for freedom is obvious. Slavery sets social chains on Jim’s life and hinders his happiness and his goals in life. The only way Jim can achieve his happiness is through freedom. Freedom for Jim means escape from slavery and a release from the social chains.

 

Huck makes a clear point about his perspective about living in the Widow’s civilized home when he states, “But it was rough living in a house all the time…and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer, I lit out. I got into my old rags, and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied” (1). Huck keeps this outlook on being restricted throughout the novel. Huck’s journey with Jim on the raft is so Huck can flee from the confines of his Father and the Widow. He depicts his satisfaction and freedom on the raft when he states, “Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft” (128). In these statements from Huck, the portrayal of freedom for him is the flight from the home and civilized life. As an adventurous boy, the house just serves as a jail to Huck’s way of life. Huck’s goals are to get away from that confining life and lead an existence of an unrestricted life. All of the events and goals that Huck accomplishes are for his happiness. In leading the happy life, Huck must obtain the freedom of an unrestricting, uncivilized life. That is what freedom means to Huck.

 

Similarities appear in each of Huck’s and Jim’s portrayal of freedom. One important similarity is both of their visions of freedom are intertwined with their escaping from society. Miss Watson’s attempts at civilizing Huck are shown when she orders Huck, “Don’t put your feet up there, Huckleberry; and don’t scrunch up like that, Huckleberry, set up straight” (2). This civilization and becoming one with society becomes bad experiences for Huck, causing his desire for an unrestricted life. Jim’s unhappy experiences from society also result to Jim’s portrayal of freedom. As a slave, he is not treated as equally by society as white people are. His unequal treatment from society causes his wish for escaping from slavery, as Huck’s bad experiences from society cause his hope for an unrestricted life. Another similarity is that both wish to obtain freedom for their happiness and comfort. As shown in Cairo and raft quotes earlier, freedom is something that can make their life happy and more comfortable.

 

Freedom is an important concept. It serves as a common goal, something to obtain. For Jim and Huck, freedom meant happiness, a happiness away from the binds of society and into a world of freedom. In the end, this is what freedom meant to them and is what they strived for.

 

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Freedom in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" Essay

703 Words
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Jean-Paul Satre once said that “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” Freedom is an idea that is expressed in multiple ways. In the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn freedom is a theme that fluxuates between characters. Mark Twain wrote Huck Finn as an American realism story. The novel was based around the pre civil war period where slavery was a big factor of life. Slavery was a key basis of whether a man was free or not during this time period. Freedom is something that has a different meaning to everybody or to any situation it is applied to.
Freedom is something that comes unnaturally to Huck. Huck grew up with no parent figures so freedom appears to be somewhat easy for him to attain, but he has a problem

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“so when I couldn’t stand it no longer, I lit out. I got into my old rags, and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied” (Page 1). Right from the beginning you see that he doesn’t want anybody to control him. “Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” (Page 116). Huck’s goals are to get away from that controlling life that he was being forced to live and lead a continuation of the unrestricted life that he thrived for.
On the other hand, Jim was not given the same amount of freedom as Huck. To Jim, freedom is the thing he strives for the most in his life. “Jim was fidgeting up and down past me. We neither of us could keep still. Every time he danced around and says, “Dah’s Cairo!”’ (Page 88). This exemplifies Jim’s joy of the voyage to Cairo and just the thought of freedom. Though they are not that close to Cairo when he says this, just floating around on the raft and knowing that he will be there soon is enough excitement for him. “Dah, now, Huck, what I tell you? What I tell you up dah on Jackson Islan’?… en it’s come true; en heah she is!” (Page 293). This demonstrates Jim’s journey coming to an end and him finally reaching pure freedom and having true happiness.
The theme of freedom, throughout the novel, takes place on the Mississippi River. In the story the main purpose of the river is to be a symbol of freedom. Rivers are seen as

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