English III Honors
22 April 2013
Floating To Freedom Bob Marley who sought out peace in the world once said “Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.” The Mississippi River is the longest river in the United States serving as a road to freedom for slaves seeking freedom from their masters. A multitude of historians say the start of slavery was 1619, slavery concluded when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863. In Mark Twains novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn both Huck and Jim endeavor on an adventure on the mighty Mississippi River to obtain a sense of humanity within themselves. The river they travel on through out the novel symbolizes freedom, comfort, and adventure. In this novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain delineated the question, does the symbols of the river mean as much to Huck as they do to Jim? Huck ponders over the fact (Twain 1): The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied.
Kelley 2 In the very beginning of the novel Huck was taken in by Widow Douglas who sought to civilize him, but Huck does not want to be civilized he wants to be the person he always had been. When he gets on the raft his life becomes what he wants it to be. He is free from Widow Douglas and can do whatever he pleases, he can smoke like he use to before Widow Douglas said it was not allowed. Huck also escaped his alcoholic abusive father who never treated him like his son but a possession to get money for alcohol from. The river gives Huck all the amenities of freedom, to be who he really is without anyone holding him back from his one true self. On the other hand Jim was a slave, and under no circumstances did slaves have freedom. The Mississippi River served as a vehicle to freedom from slavery for Jim. In the trying times of slavery any slave that had the courage to escape would still face the chance of getting caught and killed for trying to escape their master. When floating down the river it provided a barrier for Jim from the slave hunters, giving Jim his first chance to feel like an actual human begin in such a cruel world. Huck also follows Jim down the Mississippi River to be on the hunt for adventure. "I reckoned I would slip over the river and find out what was going on...couldn't I put on some of them old things and dress up like a girl?" (Twain 54). Due to the fact that their journey has been going on for a couple of days now on the river Huck and Jim want to get off the raft and see what is going on around that town they traveled to. Huck then dresses up like a girl and goes to a house near the Illinois shore, but the woman in the house surmises Huck to be a boy and he gets caught. He gets the news Jim is wanted and quickly leaves the house to warn him. Huck always seems to find adventure wherever he goes, Huck has a knack for adventure that always seems to come to him at times. Here the river brings him the thrilling adventure he looks for.
Kelley 3 While floating on the Mississippi Huck says "Jim, this