Essay, Research Paper
The Symbolism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Freedom is a wonderful thing; it is a quality of life that many people cannot describe. According to the Webster’s Dictionary the word freedom is defined as “…the state of being at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint…” Unfortunately almost everybody today takes his or her freedom for granted. In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, two people set out on a journey, up the Mississippi, to find precious freedom. The story is focused on the two main characters, Huckleberry Finn and Jim. Huck is an adolescent from the south. He was an impolite orphan taken in by a strict widow named Mrs. Douglas. The widow tried relentlessly to improve Huck’s behavior. Jim is slave owned by the widow. In the beginning Jim and Huck seemed to have nothing in common, but when they met, it looked like they were trying to find the same thing. Throughout the book both Huck and Jim search for a beacon of light to guide them in their lives.
Huck is a symbol of the adolescence of today. He was looking for the answers of life. While on the river, Huck learned how to make intelligent decisions and to trust his gut instinct because of all the different temptations and bad influences he came across. Many teens learn how to make the correct decisions in life by going with their gut instinct. They learned how to do this because of experience. One of the most important things Huck discovered on the journey up the river was himself. Before his adventure he could not speak for himself, he did not know what he wanted. This too is another important secret of life that teens discover, themselves. After Huck’s adventures on the river Aunt Sally adopts him. She adopts him because Huck still needs guidance and still does not fully understand life. Teens are still taken care of by parents because they too need guidance and knowledge about life.
Jim is a symbol of some of the adults of today. Jim cannot move up in the stepladder of life because he is bounded by his slavery. The only way for Jim to break free from slavery is to escape from his owner. Today slavery does not exist; but there are still adults wanting to strive for more than what they have. Some of them do not have the skills or the money to move upward in the standard of life, but still find other ways to get there.
The Mississippi River was the place where Huck and Jim’s adventures took place. This was where they had the best times of their lives. On the river neither Jim nor Huck was bounded by anything, they were free. The Mississippi River symbolized the freedom both of them were looking for. Huck was free in the sense that he found out some of the secrets of life and Jim was free because he no longer was a slave. The Mississippi also led them to where they needed to be in that point in their lives. Jim was brought to free land and Huck was brought to Aunt Sally for more guidance in life. Today the Mississippi River would not represent freedom, but something that all people strive and desire for, success. Everyone today wants to succeed in their lives by studying, working hard, and becoming the influential people of the world.
Yes, freedom is wonderful thing but since a majority of people take this priceless gift for granted, they think success is better. Both freedom and success are important elements in life that go hand in hand. If one has no freedom how will they succeed? This is a question that people should consider the next time they take freedom for granted.