describes a hero s journey as a cycle where the person is a hero from
birth. This holds true for the character of Huck Finn because he fits
the description of a hero in the book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
There are many different phases, or episodes that embody Huck and
Luke s journey. They both start out feeling unfulfilled with their
current circumstances, Luke is unhappy living in the desert and feels
that he isn t living up to his potential. Huck is living with his
aunt, and then his father who are both abusive in their own way and
hinder his progress as a person. Then they both leave home and begin
to view the world from a more mature perspective. Luke finds out that
life consists of more than just the day to day experiences that he
has had and that indeed there are many injustices taking place in the
world. Such as the fact that evil people can rule others. Huck
discovers this same phenomena, he escapes with Jim and begins to
question a human s right to own someone else. In the end they both
discover their worth as men who are able to do something to influence
the world around them. For example, saving the lives of thousands of
people or just one slave.
The period in
one s life of innocence is a starting point for many heroes. This is
the time prior to the adventure he is about to embark on. Huck s
childhood consisted of childish games with his best friend, Tom
Sawyer. Huck s days were filled with games of pretend that were
supposed to be actual adventures. Most of these adventures were
figments of Tom Sawyer s imagination. This is important to know since
it provided the preparation Huck needed to get through the journey on
the river. It gave him the tools to survive and maintain his sense of
moral well-being. It is ironic, however, that the adventures Huck
actually experiences are far more intense than the adventures they
pretend to go on. Indeed, truth is stranger than fiction. Huck s
schooling with the widow and Miss Watson are another element of his
innocent childhood. He experienced what he called the civilized life.
He was fed, wore clean clothes, and was well taken care of. For a boy
who lived for adventures and everything nature had to offer, the
civilized life did not appeal to him. As much as he appreciated what
the widow and Miss Watson were trying to do, he still has his doubts
on what they had to say. It is in Huck s character to believe
everything he first hears, and then question the facts more and more
over time until he finally realizes something is not true.
Luke has a fight
with his uncle about leaving. In this conflict, all of his built up
The awakening of
a hero s journey is the part where a hero is finally inducted into
the hero s world. It is the point in the story where the hero does
something that recognizes him as a man . Also, one can say that the
Initiation is something that pushes the hero into the adult world.
One of the rites of passage into the adult world was when Huck helped
a slave friend, otherwise known as Jim, to escape.
The idea of
Huck, a white person, and Jim, a black person, being friends was an
unaccepted idea at the time. However, over time, Huck realizes that
Jim truly is a human being. Jim feels things and does things like any
other human being. Even though Huck still thinks of Jim as a black
man, he describes towards the end of the book as Jim really being,
white inside To Huck, this comment was not meant to be degrading, but
a simple statement of Jim s humanity. The fact that Huck helped Jim
to escape slavery can be known as a rite of passage into the hero s
world, as well as his thrust into the adult world.
The last step in
the hero s journey is the Freedom to Live. This is the stage where,
after everything has been said and done, the hero is usually given
choices to where he is going and what he is going to do. For Huck,
this is his chance to escape the sivilized life he has seen on his
journey up and down the length of the Mississippi river. It is
interesting to look at Huck s view of the river and the actual land.
It is a transition that can be noted throughout the book. Everytime
Huck is on land, something happens that worsens his view of sivilized
life. However, as soon as he gets on the Mississippi river that he so
loves, a change in Huck s tone of voice is notable. It is almost as
though Huck is speaking poetically of the river. This even further
proves Huck s love for nature.
At the end of
the book, a final decision is not really made, but Huck hints at the
fact that he does not want any more of the sivilized life. He
believes this his true calling is with nature and territory that has
not yet been touched by the sivilized life he found to be so
disgusting during his journey. To Huck, certain people, such as Tom,
the widow, Miss Watson, and other individuals he met during his
journey were suited for such sivilized life. Huck, however, would
have none of it.
All three stages
hold true to Campbell s idea of the basic process a hero goes
through. This process is 1) departure, 2) fulfillment, and 3) return.
Also, another important fact of the hero is that he does not get
anything but the good deed he did. All of these ideas can be applied
to Huck Finn, such as the three stages of Innocent World of Childhoo,
the Initiation, and the Freedom to Live do. These absolutely
establish Huck s place in the hero s world. However, it would be
interesting to see what Huck has to say about generations of people
recognizing him as a true hero.
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