River Vs Essay

Submitted By rebecaamaee
Words: 806
Pages: 4

Ashore vs. Afloat Huckleberry Finn and Jim encounter many struggles and adventures throughout their time floating down the river, but it became similar to a home for the both of them. The river has a huge part in this book as it represents freedom and a safe haven, whereas the shore represents confinement and conformism. The difference between the shore and the river are very distinct and clear in the same way you can feel the influence of Twain’s views of society throughout the novel. The shore was never a good place for Huck. Huck was constantly criticized and put down by those around him. Tom Sawyer was the only person who understood him on shore. People on the shore that Huck associated with were white Christians. “…And pretty soon she would say, ‘Don’t gap and stretch like that, Huckleberry−why don’t you try to behave?’ Then she told me all about the bad place, and I said I wished I was there. She got mad then, but I didn’t mean no harm”(Twain 7). In this passage, Miss Watson is trying to civilize Huck and, in return, Huck just wants to live his carefree lifestyle like every other 13-year-old boy. Huck doesn’t want to conform to society and instead wants to go to Hell because he just wants a change in scenery. He has been raised by Pap who was a drunkard who taught Huck no morals in life, which influences Huck’s views of the shore greatly. He sees the people around him as uptight and nonsense speaking people, so he doesn’t listen to what they tell him to do. Society is pushing people like Huck and Tom to forget who they are and to be these perfect models of society, when they just want to read books and have adventures. On the other hand, the river is Huck and Jim’s safe place. On the river, it’s only themselves, and that means there is no one there to judge them. “…And let her float wherever the current wanted her to; then we lit the pipes, and dangled out legs in the water, and talked about all kinds of things−we was always naked, day and night, whenever the mosquitoes would let us− the new clothes Buck’s folks made for me was too good to be comfortable, and besides I didn’t go much on clothes, nohow” (Twain 124). Huck is talking about how, on the river, he can be vulnerable. Them being naked can be interpreted as them opening up, being there true selves and letting the vulnerable side out. Back on the shore, they always had to dress right, not smoke and definetly not talk about the things they did. The shore always made Huck act proper and perfect. They made sure that no one in society strayed from their beliefs and everyone had to believe the same thing. This river gives a whole new sense of hope to Huck and Jim through a sense of freedom and understanding towards each other. Twain thinks society is hypocritical. The majority of the societies in this area were white Christians who owned slaves. Twain thinks this is ironic because in the Bible it