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Huckleberry Finn Thesis Paper Essay, Research Paper

During the 1800’s, slavery was a very controversial issue in the UnitedStates. The northern states were free of slavery, and had manyabolitionists, while the south continued support of slavery until a fewdecades after the civil war. The authors of the time, like Mark Twain, oftenincluded slavery into their works, and in fact, one of the causes of the civilwar was a book about slavery called Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet BeecherStowe. In Mark Twain’s story, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the useof a character and a symbol often revealed the figurative representation ofslavery in society. In the episode of the feud between the Grangerfords and theSheperdsons, Buck was enslaved by his warlike upbringing, and his familiesfailure to resolve their problems. One example was Buck’s own words on afeud, “A feud is this way; A man has a quarrel with another man and killshim, then that other man’s brother kills him; then the cousins chip in, — andby and by everybody’s killed off, and there ain’t no more feud, but it’s kindof slow, and takes a long time”(108). This expresses the fact that Buck feltthat his only purpose in life was to participate in the fighting of the feud,until he himself ran into death. Another example was Buck wanting to shootand kill Harney Shepardson, even though Harney’s survival could have meant

an end to the feud. This shows slavery because Buck had no power to bringthe feud to an end, because of the pressure from his family to be a part ofthe feud. Another occurrence was the death of Buck. This contributes tothe fact that his family did not even attempt to resolve the feud and keepthe young children away from danger, but more enslaved them by supporting theirparticipation in the deadly war. In conclusion, Buck was trapped in the feudby his own family, and his death was ultimately inevitable. There were many examples where a symbol was used to representslavery. One instance in Huck’s life with Pap. This shows slavery becauseHuck was cut off from his normal life, and was locked up in a cabin, whichgave him no freedom. Another example was the lynch mob that wanted tohang Sherburn for shooting and killing Boggs. This expresses that the mobwas enslaved by the peer pressure of society to seek justice, and that their individual feelings were lost along the way. Another instance was the letterHuck wrote to Miss Watson that told where Jim was at, which never gotdelivered. This showed that Huck was enslaved by his mixed feelings aboutdoing what was lawfully right, and doing what was morally right. Inconclusion, the symbolic representation of slavery plays an important role inthe book.

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