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The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Essay

1019 words - 5 pages

Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel about a young boy's coming of age in the Missouri of the mid-1800's. Themain character, Huckleberry Finn, spends much time in the novel floatingdown the Mississippi River on a raft with a runaway slave named Jim.Before he does so, however, Huck spends some time in the fictional town ofSt. Petersburg where a number of people attempt to influence him. Before the novel begins, Huck Finn has led a life of absolutefreedom. His drunken and often missing father has never paid muchattention to him; his mother is dead and so, when the novel begins, Huck isnot used to following any rules. The book's opening finds Huck living ...view middle of the document...

TomSawyer promises much--robbing stages, murdering and ransoming people,kidnaping beautiful women--but none of this comes to pass. Huck finds outtoo late that Tom's adventures are imaginary: that raiding a caravan of"A-rabs" really means terrorizing young children on a Sunday school picnic,that stolen "joolry" is nothing more than turnips or rocks. Huck isdisappointed that the adventures Tom promises are not real and so, alongwith the other members, he resigns from the gang. Another person who tries to get Huckleberry Finn to change isPap, Huck's father. Pap is one of the most astonishing figures in all ofAmerican literature as he is completely antisocial and wishes to undo allof the civilizing effects that the Widow and Miss Watson have attempted toinstill in Huck. Pap is a mess: he is unshaven; his hair is uncut andhangs like vines in front of his face; his skin, Huck says, is white like afish's belly or like a tree toad's. Pap's savage appearance reflects hisfeelings as he demands that Huck quit school, stop reading, and avoidchurch. Huck is able to stay away from Pap for a while, but Pap kidnapsHuck three or four months after Huck starts to live with the Widow andtakes him to a lonely cabin deep in the Missouri woods. Here, Huck enjoys,once again, the freedom that he had prior to the beginning of the book. Hecan smoke, "laze around," swear, and, in general, do what he wants to do.However, as he did with the Widow and with Tom, Huck begins to becomedissatisfied with this life. Pap is "too handy with the hickory" and Hucksoon realizes that he will have to escape from the cabin if he wishes toremain alive. As a result of his concern, Huck makes it appear as if he iskilled in the cabin while Pap is away, and leaves to go to a remote islandin the Mississippi River, Jackson's Island. It is after he leaves his father's cabin that Huck joins yetanother important influence...

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