, Research Paper
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
In the novel, The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn, by Mark Twain, Huck Finn opens himself up, emotionally, more and more throughout the novel, by talking, admiring, and opening up. Huck, coming from a very disturbing background, never truly experienced a loving relationship in any area in his life. Even when the chances come along, he holds himself back because of previous experiences of pain and hurt. At the end of the novel, Huck finally allows himself to open up to relationships with friendship, family love, and his admiration in others. He finds a “brother” in Tom, a “friend” in Jim, and he admires Mary Jane.
Throughout Huck’s journey there is one person that is always present in his life, Jim. When Huck is going down the river Jim is always with him and Jim stands by him life a “friend”. At the end of the novel, when Huck goes looking for Jim, who was captured, he has to go to the Phelps’s farm. There Huck is mistaken for Tom Sawyer and stays with Aunt Sally, and Uncle Silas. When staying there he tries to come up with a plan to rescue Jim so he can be a free slave. Later, Huck meets up with Tom Sayer who was coming to visit his Aunt and Uncle. Throughout this whole fiasco Jim listens to exactly what Tom and Huck say, even though some of the things that are “necessary” for a prisoner to do are ridiculous. Jim just thinks they are white people and therefore they must obey unquestionability. Their plan however backfires and Jim is back into the custody of the Phelps. Even when Jim has the chance to act like he knows Huck he doesn’t. Therefore saving Huck from his identity becoming revealed. This would make the farmers mad and maybe put him in danger. Throughout this escapade Jim stands by Huck like a true “friend” and never doubts him for one second. Huck on his part tries to do everything in his power to set Jim free.
The relationship between Jim and Huck is strong and this is shown through the actions and words expressed by both characters. Jim treats Huck as a friend by caring for him and listening to his ideas, even though some are “out-there”, he trusted him. Huck cares for Jim as shown in his dedication of trying to free Jim, and the many times he didn’t turn Jim in as a runaway slave. For example, when Jim had disappeared Huck was filled with worry and this showed that he cared for the safety of his “friend” Jim. Without this give and take their relationship wouldn’t be strong. This relationship shows how two people, one white and one black, one young and one older, from two totally different worlds, can bond together and make a long journey down the Mississippi River. This shows how Huck opens himself up to Jim, and finds a new friend.
There are many different family relationships in the world around us, such as that between brothers/sisters, sons/daughters and their parents. Huck experiences a big brother to a little brother relationship (In which Tom is the big brother and Huck is the little brother). Throughout the novel Huck asks himself “is this what Tom would do?” The connection between Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn is very strong. Huck tries to act and do everything in the likeness of Tom. When they were discussing how they were going to rescue Jim, Huck suggested a plan and Tom then suggested his. Huck not wanting to argue with Tom decided to go along with his. Even though Tom’s plan was more difficult and unnecessary, it seemed more adventurous. Even when Tom suggested more and more things, Huck would disagree and say you couldn’t go without it. Huck looks up to Tom and tries to do everything he does, and incorporate what Tom would do in his own life. Even at times when Huck is right about something he will hold back in order to avoid conflict with Tom. Like any sibling relationship it shows how Huck follows his “big brother” Tom in order to be just as “adventurous and cool” as he is. Tom, the older, “cool” big brother and Huck the young, innocent little brother. Huck, trying like all younger siblings to be “cool” and liked by their brother/sister will do anything in his power to impress Tom. This relationship shows Huck’s longing for a family and/or an older sibling to follow and love. Because of his previous family experiences, Huck has never really had anyone to look up to. Tom is someone he trusts and therefore Huck relies on Tom to guide him and be there for him. In the end, Huck ends up being adopted into Tom’s family and truly becomes part of the family. Hucks relationship with Tom, makes him a better person because he has someone to look up to, he talks and listen to Tom like a brother.
Something else that opens up, and makes Huck a more loving person is, when he makes a stop with the duke and king at Peter Wilks’s funeral he meets Mary Jane. Mary Jane has a very surprising effect on Huck. Huck becomes infatuated with her, and comes to admire her. Huck begins to care for Mary Jane, and he tells her about duke and the king being frauds. “You may say what you want to, but in my opinion she had more sand in her than girl I ever seen; in my opinion she was just full of sand.” (Page 184) After getting to know Mary Jane more Huck begins to admire her and he even says she is full of “sand”. “Sand” meaning that she has a lot of heart. Mary Jane opens up Huck’s heart more and for this Huck admires her. She is the first female Huck has mentioned in a good manner. Huck looks at her strong personality, but also in liking her beauty captivated him. Mary Jane provides Huck with an experience of a “crush” and the ability to make him realize he can open his heart more, even with all his past bad relationships. This lets huck realize that he can love and he can open-up his heart to others besides himself.
Huck begins to show his feelings more and more throughout the novel. He finds love in a friend, a family and he comes to admire someone. Huck finds a “brother” in Tom, a “friend” in Jim, and he admires Mary Jane. By the end of the novel Huck begins to find his place and the love that he has been missing in his life slowly starts to be renewed. This lost place in his heart is his yearn for a family, and to be loved. There is really only one thing in life anyone needs, and that is love. Huck goes through most of his life not truly experiencing love to its fullest. Through this meaningful trip down the Mississippi River, Huck gets a “taste” of love in its purest form. He gets loved by others and he begins to open his own feelings, thus allowing himself to experience meaningful relationships.