In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain a young boy by
the name of Huckleberry Finn learns what life is like growing up in Missouri.
The story follows young Huckleberry as he floats down the Mississippi River on
his raft. On his journey he is accompanied by his friend Jim, a runaway slave.
Throughout this novel Huckleberry Finn is influenced by a number of people he
meets along the way. Huckleberry Finn was brought up in an interesting
His father was rarely ever home and if he was, he was drunk, his
mother had passed away so Huck had no one to really look out for him or take
care of him. Huckleberry had the life that many teenagers dream of, no parents
to watch you or tell you what to do, but when Huckleberry finds himself in the
care of Widow Douglas and Miss Watson things start to drastically change. Widow
Douglas and Miss Watson are two relatively old women and think that raising a
child means turning him into an adult. In order for Huckleberry to become a
young man, he was required to attend school, religion was forced upon him, and a
behavior that was highly unlike Huck became what was expected of him by the
older ladies. Not to long after moving in, Huckleberry ran away. When he finally
came home he respected the ladies wishes and did what they wanted, but was never
happy with it.
When Tom Sawyer enters the picture, he is the immediate apple of
Huckleberrys eye. Huckleberry sees Tom as the person that he used to be and
was envious of Toms life. Huckleberry saw freedom and adventure in this young
man and soon became very close friends with him. Huck then joins Toms little"group" to feel that sense of belonging and adventure that he misses out on
due to living with the two older ladies. Soon enough Huck realizes that all of
Toms stories are a little exagerated and that his promises of adventure
really are not that adventurous. Tom gives Huckleberry a false sense of
excitement and eventually Huck leaves Toms gang.
Later on Huckleberry s
father, Pap, enters the story and tries to change everything about Huckleberry
that the two women have taught him. Pap is a very unkempt person and his outward
appearance is definitely the epitome of the saying," What you see is what you
get." Paps comes in and demands that Huckleberry drops out of school, stops
attending church, and that he stop reading and learning. After a couple of
months of avoiding his father, Pap kidnaps Huckleberry and takes him to a small
cabin in the woods far from civilization. Once again Huckleberry is given all of
the freedom that he wants and once again Huckleberry becomes dissatisfied with
the life that is bestowed upon him. Huckleberry comes to the conclusion that in
order for him to stay alive, he must run away from his father and make his
father and everyone else believe that there is no way of finding him.
Huckleberry decides to stage his own death while his father was away on one of
his drunken bouts. After he stages his death he leaves for Jacksons Island in
the middle of the Mississippi River. After Huckleberry leaves he meets up with
Jim, Miss Watsons slave. They ran into each other after Huckleberrys
arrival on Jacksons Island.
As it turns out, Jim ran away because he
overheard a conversation saying that he was to be sold to people in New Orleans.
Jim makes Huckleberry feel comfortable about his decisions and about being
himself. Huckleberry also realizes that he can learn a lot from Jim. Jim knows
how to how to tell the future, how to tell the weather forecast, and is a very
good judge of character. Huckleberry feels a need to be with Jim and feels very
safe when they are together.
Hucks new found friend prompts the decision to
float down the Mississippi on a raft together. Jim gives Huckleberry a sense of
security but also allows him to have enough space to do his own things. As
opposed to Tom, Jim is very intelligent and truthful. He accepts Huckleberry the
way that Tom did, but Jim does not have to lie about what promises will come of
their friendship to make Huckleberry stay.
Jim also gives Huckleberry a sense of
freedom, like Pap, but shows Huckleberry that he cares about what happens to
him. Huckleberry finally found a living situation in which he feels comfortable
in and likes to be in. In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there
are many outside forces trying to impose their way of life on the young
Huckleberry Finn. Coming from a broken home, Huckleberry is left in the care of
Widow Douglas and her sister Miss Watson. These two elderly women try to make
Huckleberry become a perfect gentleman by forcing him to attend school and
church. Huckleberry feels trapped and uncomfortable with the expectations that
the two ladies have and eventually runs away.
He then meets up with Tom Sawyer
who proves to be a boy full of adventures that prove to be the work of a vivid
imagination. Huckleberry becomes bored with the relationship and decides to go
back to the two older ladies. After he comes back, his father, Pap kidnaps him
and tries to return him to the life that he knew before. Huckleberry soon became
unhappy with his new life because he felt that no one cared about him or what he
did. His father was always drunk and forced him to drop out of school and stop
attending church. Huckleberry finally becomes apart of a worthwhile relationship
with a slave boy named Jim.
Huckleberry and Jim are immediately inseparable as
they decide to float down the Mississippi River together. In the end Huckleberry
proves to have found a friendship worthy of having. A friendship that gives him
all of the aspects of all the earlier relationships, but one in which he feels
comfortable being a part of.