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Huckleberry Finn: Freedom Essay

Mark Twain discusses many controversial situations in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, one of them being freedom and how having it does not necessarily make you free. His representation of freedom is shown through the many diverse characters throughout the novel, like Huck and Jim. Twain shows that you are not free from society or man, no matter who you are.

Society expects everyone to meet their standards. They want people to be their idea of “perfect” and if you don’t meet their standards, you are considered and outcast. Huckleberry Finn is Mark Twain’s best example when it comes to not being free from society. Throughout the entire novel, Huck was pressured to become civilized by almost everyone he encounters. For example, Miss Watson and Widow Douglas adopt Huck in hopes of being able to give him a real family. However, a “real” family is one that is civilized. The two women force Huck to dress in “regular” clothes, teach him prayers, and send him off to school. By doing all of this, the women are stripping away the boys’ freedom to be an individual.

He hated this of course, saying “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 cannot be who he truly wants to be, independent and living away from others, because he does not have the freedom to. Miss Watson and Widow Douglas are so worried about what society wants that they forget to worry about what Huck wants. Society almost creates a form of a utopia, and if you don’t fit in you’re an outcast.

In a utopia, there is no such thing as an “outcast”; everyone must be the same. With that, Society is forcing everyone to get rid of his or her individuality, and become exactly like everyone else. Mark Twain uses Huckleberry to show this. He has Huck go through multiple situations where he is pressured to become civilized like everyone else, but has Huck overcome it by sticking with who he is. Twain believes that everyone is losing their freedom to each other and he hopes, like Huck does by the end of the book, that everyone figures out who they are before it is too late.

As well as having no freedom because of society, Huckleberry Finn experiences his freedom being taken away by man. When his father, Pap, comes back to town, he wants to take Huck away. Although he thought it wouldn’t be allowed, a judge gives Huck away to Pap without his consent or opinion.


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