Huckleberry Finn, the main character, learns he must grow up fast if he wants to survive life. Huck Finn
has a drunkard as a father, a hogshead as a home, and a mother (dead ) of which he never knew. He is a
congenital liar, a thief, and someone who has no respect for the rules of society. He will use every technicality
to get off with doing something completely wrong, but is ok by him. Huck is not all evil as one would think by
this introduction. He in fact believes in personal freedom, something which he never really has had.
Jim, a supporting character, also has to deal with many problems of society. The greatest one in fact is,
the fact that he is a slave. Jim is a very modest person, he will sacrifice anything to help his fellow man. Huck
sees this and begins to think of Jim as a human being also, and will "go to hell " for Jim. Although Jim is a slave,
he does not think of people based on their skin color, but in fact believes that everyone is equal regardless of
skin, and even age. One may ever say that Jim is Huck's true father.
Both Jim and Huck have experienced life at a tedious level. They have their highs and lows, but mainly
life is not all it is cracked up to be. For Huck, he must experience having a horrendous father who beats Huck to
a pulp any time he is sober. And for Jim, the fact that his family is not considered human by society but rather
chattel that can be bought, sold or even traded at the slightest whim. Together Huck and Jim must work
together to escape the society which has allowed them to live the vile life they had, and move to a place where
society will let them start a brand new life.
When Pap , was not around, Huck felt better about himself. He enjoyed life a little more,
did not have to worry about coming home on time, only to get beat up by his own pap.
He kept me with him all the time, and I never got a chance to run off. We lived in that old
cabin, and he always locked the door and put the key under his head nights. He had a gun
which he had stole, I reckon, and we fished and hunter, and that was what we lived on
Every little while he locked me in and went down to the store, three miles, to the ferry,
and traded fish and game for whisky, and fetched it home, and got drunk and had a good
time and licked me. ( pg. 32 )
After Huck was kidnapped, life was worse than he ever expected. He would not know how long this
treacherous ordeal would last.
Huck knew he had to escape this way of life, and he finally got a plan to do it. He was going to fake his own
Well, last I pulled out some of my hair, and blooded the ax good, and stuck it on the
back side, and slung the ax in the ax into the corner. Then took up pig and held him to
my breast with my jacket, till I got a good piece below the house and then dumped him
into the river. (pg. 41)
Huck later made a track of rocks to the river so they would think robbers killed Huck This plan simply shows
how serious Huck was about leaving his pap, and how he would do anything to get away from him.
Jim is in a similar predicament, so he must also escape. Jim is going to be sold down south, away from his family.
Well, you see, it 'uz dis way. Ole missus-dat's Miss Watson-she pecks on me all
de time, and treats me pooty rough, but she awluz said she wouldn' sell me down to Orleans
But I noticed dey wuz a nigger trader roun' de place considable lately, en I begin to get
oneasy. Well, one night I creepts to de do' pooty late, en de do' warn't quite shet, en I hear
old missus tell de widder she gwyne to sell me down to Orleans, but she didn't want to, but
she could git eight hund'd dollars for me, en it 'uz sich a big sac o'oney she couln' resis'. (pg 50)
This shows that even Miss Watson promised Jim, she would break her promise, just for money. This is
something Jim is very scared of, and decides to run away. One could relate Huck and Jim, to Pap and Miss
Both Huck and Jim have certain things that hold them back from enjoying a free life. Huck has
Pap who does not allow him to get an education, or advance (chap 6). Pap wants to remain a simple man.
Huck and Jim have experienced the worst of times, and now are on their way to the best of times.
Being the son of a man who beats you continuously for no apparent reason can sure dampen your view on life.
Being a slave in America, can be the biggest experience of a double standard; where you have no rights in the
land of the free. Together they will hook up, and flee the environment that has tormented their lives from the
day they were each born. With luck they will restart their lives as men free from the regulations that disabled
them from attaining true freedom.
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