Essay on Huck Finn Final Draft

Submitted By KayThomas15
Words: 1066
Pages: 5

The history of slavery spans from ancient times to the present day; slavery in early American history was a system in which people were legally considered the property of another. One modern face of slavery takes the shape of international human trafficking. An estimated 29.8 million people are living in illegal slavery today. Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn depicts the reality of the despicable racism exhibited in slavery in the USA during the nineteenth century. Twain’s protagonist Huck slowly awakens to the horror of the socially acceptable institution of slavery. Huck Finn experiences a change in his worldview as he tackles the phases of the Hero’s Journey: Separation, Initiation, and Return. Initially, Finn’s life is unstable and dis-satisfying, but he is soon separated from his normal life while being thrust into a world of adventure. Sadly, life before his quest is dis-satisfying because it is “rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the [Widow Douglas] was in all here ways” (3). The absentness of Finn’s father adds another layer of dissatisfaction in the form of instability: “…he’s got a father, but you can’t never find him, these days. He used to lay drunk with the hogs in the tanyard, but he hain’t been seen in these parts for a year or more” (10). After becoming accustomed to his unstable life, he is kidnapped by his father; being imprisoned by Pap forces Huck to escape. Thus, he fakes his murder and embarks on an adventure. As his journey begins, he bumps into a familiar face from home, and they begin bonding while trying to stay hidden; Finn soon discovers that Jim is in deep trouble and together they keep him from getting caught by the bounty hunters. When he travels into town and discovers this information, instead of abandoning Jim, he decides to go back and help save him. This demonstrates the reality of the bond these two have formed; this act also proves to be the point that launches Finn on his quest.
After departing from all that is familiar, Finn must complete his initiation to heroism by passing many tests, especially one particularly large ordeal. As he begins this phase of his journey, with Jim accompanying him, they come across a “steamboat that had killed herself on a rock” (68) that happened to have a couple of murderers on board; feeling sympathetic for them he decides to help them out: “…I was feeling pretty ruther comfortable on accounts of taking all this trouble for the gang…I judged [the widow] would be proud of me for helping these rapscallions, because rapscallions is… the kind the widow and good people takes the most interest in” (78). Among other obstacles they face, they get separated in the fog and then they almost get Jim caught when they cross paths with two men looking for runaway slaves, during which time Huck contemplates whether to give him up: “My conscience got to stirring me up hotter than ever [when] along comes a skiff with two men in it, with guns…” (91-92). Later, Finn and Jim stumble across two different men who are both “being chased [with] men and dogs a-coming [for them]”; while at first they seem like allies, it is apparent they have neither Finn nor Jim’s best interest at heart when they steal a dead man’s fortune and enlist Huck’s help in making their lie more believable (122). After Huck interferes with this scheme to help the victims, the “rapscallions” decide to “nail” (160) Jim for a quick buck: “After all this long journey and after all we’d done them scoundrels, here was it all come to nothing, everything all busted up and ruined, because they could have the heart to serve Jim such a trick as that, and make him a slave again all his life, and amongst strangers, too, for forty dirty dollars” (214). It is this point in Finn’s journey where he is faced with the ordeal of either informing Miss Watson of Jim’s whereabouts, consequently preventing him