It is a natural thing for humans to engage in a physical journey, the journey differs depending on the person, and, each journey is important in its own way. Many authors depict these journeys in their writings. One such author is Mark Twain who covers Huckleberry Finns physical journey in his book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
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In this book, Huckleberrys physical journey is to not only create a climax but also to show growth and maturity. Nevertheless, his movement is more than a journey. It bears great meaning and significance such as offering a very realistic depiction of Southern life before the Civil War and the town attitude towards race and racism.
The novel starts off with Huck being adopted by a very strict, but kind lady name Widow Douglas. Every day Miss Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson gives Huck a spelling, reading, and math lesson in hope of fixing his behavior. However, its all in vain when he decides to leave the town. Due to Hucks past, he has no interests in learning, he is only interested in Tom, staying alive, killing and stealing from others. This shows the reader how childish and nonexperienced Hucks is because he does not know the conscience of being a murder. When Huck ran away in fear of being kill by Pap, it portrays innocence and purity. As well as Hucks new awaiting physical journey; escaping racism.
Along the way, he met Jim, a slave who was also trying to find his freedom and so together, Jim and Huck go on their quests to achieve freedom. Huckleberry desires to achieve freedom from, civilization while Jim thirsts to achieve freedom from slavery. The two characters travel down the Mississippi River. The river is a motif. The river is symbolic of the desire to become more secure and liberal. I never felt easy till the raft was out in the middle of the Mississippi we was free and safe once more. As they traverse, they are doing more than moving down this river. They are learning to discover who they are individual while growing and learning about themselves along the way.
Throughout the book, as these two individuals travel down the Mississippi river searching for freedom, Mark Twain shows the changes that occur in Huck. One of these changes pertains to the opinions that Huck holds of Jim. In the beginning, Huck feels unwilling to help Jim attain his freedom. This can be seen when Huck almost turns Jim over to the slave catchers. He says, I was paddling off, all in a sweat to tell on him, the use of this idiom helps to accentuate the over-eagerness he has conforming to the expectations that society has through advocating slavery. Despite the author showing the slow transformation that Huck experiences and undergoes in recognizing the equality that Jim has, the author finally shows this by establishing that Jim is equal to the white people. It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger but I have done it, and I wasn’t even sorry for it afterward neither.
The author is successful in showing the importance of morality to an individual. He does this through showing that the physical Journey that Huck undergoes provides him with the moral education that he is in dire need of despite not knowing this. At the beginning of the journey, Huck is seen hunting the Arabs. Besides this, he is seen telling Jim a completely distasteful joke. The author shows the consequences that immorality has. He does this throw portraying the damaging repercussions that come from immorality.
One of the major examples in the book that depicts the negative influences that immoral behavior can have on other people is shown by the actions that are undertaken by the Duke and the King. The schemes that these two individuals have caused there to be irreparable damages to the people as well as the towns that these two individuals traversed as can be seen in the novel. When these two not only posed as missionaries but also collected donations from those individuals who went to church, Huck is able to bear witness to the damage that is inflicted upon the people in that town due to the scheme that the two plotted and carried out. The resultant effect that the author shows from this is that Huck shows and feels empathy with the people as he realizes immorality has great irreparable repercussions. This is only learned from the journey that he undertakes.
In sum, the author shows the importance of every human journey. The physical journey that Huckleberry goes through is able to transform him through making him a more upright and moral individual who feels empathy towards other people and forges friendships with those he would have considered unequal to him before undertaking this journey. Notably, the author centrally focuses on the physical dimensions of the journey while imposing the inner influences that this journey had in providing teachings that could only be earned and learned through journeying. Huck was able to learn so many lessons not only about equality but also about treating individuals for what they are, who they are, rather than for their outside appearances. Finally, it is important to understand that the beginning of this novel, as well as its end, bears no significance whatsoever to the physical and nonphysical journey that Huck among other characters in the book have to undergo to learn significant life lessons that the rest of the nation is ignorant to such as slavery.
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