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“The Experiences of Huckleberry Finn”, by Mark Twain, is a classic American book, thought about by some to be the finest example of American literature. It follows Huck and Jim, a bad Southern white young boy and a runaway slave, as they take a trip down the Mississippi River in a quest for liberty. Sometimes considered an easy kids’s story, “Huckleberry Finn”, while still existing on that level, likewise has an abundance of significance and meaning that’s not immediately apparent.
The unique includes concepts and observations that Twain felt were significant to the culture and the people he was composing to. The primary theme of the book (most suitable considering the time duration in which it was composed) is the struggle in between freedom and slavery.
Huckleberry Finn experiences this battle as the grownups around him attempt to “sivilize” him and require him to comply with their concepts of proper habits. Seeing their hypocrisy, their interest in being SEEN as great reputable individuals over in fact BEING great respectable people, Huck naturally dismisses and rebels against their mentors.
He withstands being molded into something that’s pleasing to others however not himself, against ending up being a slave to the person everyone else wants him to be, permanently avoided from revealing who he really is.
Perhaps more literally, Jim also must struggle for freedom. A slave all his life, he becomes a runaway, forced to rely on a white boy whose attitudes and ideas have been molded all his life to view blacks as inferior.
He’s struggling against society, which literally attempts to enslave him as someone whose only purpose is to serve his superiors (whites), whose life means nothing more than to serve as a piece of property.
Both Jim and Huck fight for their own forms of freedom when all outside forces are trying to enslave them. Both merely want to be the masters of their own lives and persons, without external control. Not only is this concept a key theme in the novel, but in the South throughout it’s history.
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