Essay about Huck Finn River

Submitted By Kenneththepark1
Words: 795
Pages: 4

Mark Twain’s masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, primarily takes place around the majestic Mississippi River. In fact, there wouldn’t be a story full of adventures if the Mississippi River wasn’t there to provide Huck and Jim a mode of transportation. However, the river symbolizes much more than a physical landmark throughout the story. Twain effectively utilizes the river to play several roles in his novel. For Huck and Jim, the grand Mississippi offers them a gateway to new adventures, freedom, and comfort. When Jim decided to become a fugitive slave after realizing that he would be sold, Huck makes a daring commitment to follow him. Although Huck had his own reasons to flee, he possessed an insatiable thirst for adventure. “Next morning I said it was getting slow and dull, and I wanted to get a stirring up, some way. I said I reckoned I would slip over the river and find out what was going on.” (Twain 54) Huck dresses up as a girl in order to find out what was going on in the next town. It was a risky and foolish adventure, especially since Huck was aiding a runaway fugitive down the Mississippi River. The river simply didn’t allow Huck and Jim to have many uneventful days. Fog from the river also makes the duo miss the mouth of the Ohio River, resulting in witnessing a dangerous family feud, crashing their raft into a steamboat, and assisting two low-life con artists. These adventurous turn of events were all made possible by the Mississippi River. Since these events happened in real physical towns and landmarks near the river, Twain is able to provide the reader a high level of authenticity. For Huck and Jim, the river represents freedom and hope for a better life. Jim is shackled by the cruel reality of slavery; his wife and children were enslaved and separated as well. He has no intentions of being sold to a slave state and decides to utilize the river as an opportunity for a new life. Although Jim is an uneducated slave, he is smart enough to know that he would be free if the river carried him to a free state. The river was a great idea, because it wouldn’t leave tracks behind for slave catchers to follow his trail. Jim’s grand plan was to allow the river to carry him to freedom, which would allow him to work towards buying his family’s freedom. This idealistic plan could only be made possible if the river’s currents would allow it. Although Huck is white and legally not a slave, he feels hopelessly enslaved by society and his drunken father. “All right; I can stop anywhere I want to.” (Twain 34) After Huck escapes, his adventures on the Mississippi River begin. The river enables him to finally be in control of his own life. Neither the Widow Douglas nor Pap is able to mold him into something Huck is clearly not cut out to be. While floating down the river on a raft, Huck and Jim are finally able to experience a taste of freedom. Although floating down the river on a raft may seem to be a cluttered and cramped