Contrasting Places In Huckleberry Finn Essay, Research Paper
Many plays and novels use contrasting places to represent opposed forces or ideas that are central to the meaning of the work. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a good example of this. In this novel, the land and the river represent opposed forces.
The land is one of the opposing forces in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The land represents hardship. On land Huck has to deal with problems such as his father. Huck has to worry about his father taking his money and beating him. This is a major hardship for Huck. The land also represents deceit. When Huck leaves the raft, he dresses up differently, changes his name, and lies about his background. On land the Duke and King swindle many people, on land there is a town where people pour turpentine on dogs and light them on fire, and on land people kill each other because of an ancient family feud. The land represents everything that is wrong with society. This fact is central to the meaning of the work. The whole story is a display of how society is corrupt and dirty. This is all displayed through how the people on land act in the book. The land is used as an object to display the things that are unjust and immoral in society.
The river is an opposing force to the land. The river represents the easy life. When Huck is on the river, he doesn t have to worry about being beaten or having his money stolen. His life on the river is one of relaxation. Huck and Jim are rarely in a hurry unless they are running from some threat from the land. On the river the Duke and King do not swindle others. They do tell the occasional lie to Huck and Jim but they do not steal from them or con them out of their money. This commonly occurs any time the Duke and King are on land. It is apparent that whenever Huck and Jim raft on the river, they are fleeing the avarice and hate of society on land. The river offers escape from Huck s abusive and greedy father, from the greedy men who are hunting for Jim, and from the extreme danger and hatred in the feud between the Grangerfords and the Sheperdsons. The river represents honesty and happiness and a safe haven. This idea is key to the meaning of the work. Since the novel is worked around the idea that society is corrupt and greedy and hateful which is shown by the land, Twain needs something to compare the land to so he can show just how corrupt, hateful, and greedy it is. The river fully illustrates how good society is capable of being and should be.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a good example of a novel that has two contrasting places. In this case it is the river and the land. The river represents the good in society and safety. It directly contrasts with the land, which represents the bad in society and danger. This is a key idea to the meaning of the work since it is centered around the point that society is corrupt and in bad condition.