Главная > Реферат >Остальные работы
Looking At Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper
The primary theme of the novel is the conflict between civilization and “natural
life.” Huck represents natural life through his freedom of spirit, his uncivilized
ways, and his desire to escape from civilization. He was brought up without
any rules and has a strong resistance to anything that might “sivilize” him. This
conflict is introduced in the first chapter through the efforts of the Widow
Douglas: she tries to force Huck to wear new clothes, give up smoking, and
to learn the Bible. Throughout the novel, Twain seems to suggest that the
uncivilized way of life is better; he draws on the ideas of Jean-Jacques
Rousseau in his belief that civilization corrupts rather than improves human
The theme of honor is one that permeates the novel. It is first introduced in the
second chapter with respect to Tom Sawyer’s band: Tom believes that there
is a great deal of honor associated with being robbers. This theme can be
traced throughout the rest of the book. Huck and Jim encounter robbers on
the shipwrecked boat and later they are forced to put up with the King and
the Dauphin, both of whom “rob” everyone they meet. Tom’s robber band is
also paralleled by the fact that Tom and Huck both become literal robbers at
the end of the novel. They both resolve to steal Jim out of slavery, and in the
process they act honorably. Thus honor, and acting in a way to earn honor,
becomes a central theme that Huck will have to deal with.
The theme of food is one that occurs in many parts of the novel. It is based on
the fact that Huck grew up fighting for food with pigs, eating out of “a barrel
of odds and ends.” Thus, whenever there is mention of food, it is a sign that
Huck has someone to take care of him. For example, in the first chapter it is
the Widow Douglas who feeds Huck. Later she is replaced by Jim, who
takes care of Huck on Jackson’s Island. Food is again mentioned when Huck
lives with the Grangerfords and the Wilks.
Another theme, and probably one of Twain’s favorites, is the mockery of
religion. Twain tended to attack organized religion at every opportunity, and
the sarcastic character of Huck Finn is perfectly situated to allow him to do
so. The attack on religion can already be seen in the first chapter, when Huck
indicates that hell sounds like a lot more fun than heaven. This will continue
throughout the novel, with one prominent scene occurring when the “King”
convinces a religious community to give him money so he can “convert” his
Superstition is a theme that both Huck and Jim bring up several times.
Although both of these characters tend to be quite rational, they quickly
become irrational when anything remotely superstitious happens to them. The
role of superstition is two-fold: it shows that Huck and Jim are child-like in
spite of their otherwise extremely mature characters. Second, it serves to
foreshadow the plot at several key junctions. For example, spilling salt leads
to Pa returning for Huck, and later Jim gets bitten by a rattlesnake after Huck
touches a snakeskin with his hands.
Slavery forms one of the main themes that has been frequently debated since
Huck Finn was first published. Twain himself was vehemently anti-slavery;
Huckleberry Finn can in many ways be seen as an allegory for why slavery
is wrong. Twain uses Jim, a slave who is one of the main characters, as a way
of showing the human side of a slave. Everything about Jim is presented
through emotions: Jim runs away because Miss Watson was going to sell him
South and separate him from his family; Jim is trying to become free so he can
buy his family’s freedom; Jim takes care of Huck and protects him on their
journey downriver in a very maternalistic manner. Thus, Twain’s purpose is to
make the reader feel sympathy for Jim and outrage against the society that
would harm him. However, at the same time that Twain is attacking slavery,
he also pushes the issue into the background for most of the novel. Thus,
slavery itself is never debated by Huck and Jim. Even the other slaves in the
novel are noticeably minor characters. Only at the very end does Twain
create the central conflict concerning slavery: should Huck free Jim from
slavery and therefore be condemned to go to hell? This moment is life-altering
for Huck because it forces him to reject everything that “civilization” has taught
him; he makes the decision to free Jim based solely on his own experiences
and not based on the what he has been taught from books.
The theme of money is threaded through the novel and is used to highlight the
disparity between the rich and the poor. Twain purposely begins the novel by
pointing out that Huck has over six thousand dollars to his name; this sum of
money dwarfs all the other sums and makes them seem inconsequential by
contrast. It is also within this context that Huck is able to show such a relaxed
attitude towards wealth. Having so much money, he does not view money as
a necessity. In addition, Huck’s upbringing on the land has made him
independent enough that he views money as a luxury. Huck’s views on money
are meant to contrast with Jim’s views. Jim sees money as equivalent to
freedom; with money he can buy his freedom and that of his family. Money
also would allow him to live like a white person, thus raising his status in the
society. Thus, throughout the novel Jim constantly tries to get money whereas
Huck takes an apathetic attitude towards the subject.
- Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper Early Influences on Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ... At the conclusion of chapter 11 in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck ... Island because Huck discovers that people are looking for the ...
- Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper Moral Development and Dilemmas of Huckleberry Finn The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is ... . Also, just as Jim looks up to Huck, Huck looks up to Tom Sawyer ... trouble, as he is dishonest at many times throughout the novel ...
- Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper In Twain s time, nigger was a ... and white social boundaries, when looks are decieivng, people being ... entertainment of his writing. At times he even made some ... slaves presented. At one point in the story Huckleberry Finn s father ...
- Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper Mark Azzarito English 201 book essay HUCK FINN I recently read the book Huckleberry Finn by ... Jim was black. Jim looks out for Huck like a father would. On ... blacks and yet still look at whites in a superior way. Even ...
- Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper English 103 November 15, 1999 ... for the better. Huck Finn experienced a lot of emotional pain at such a young ... to turn Jim in, he looked upon her as an innocent ... he felt were the wisest. Huck, at the same time, found that ...