Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper
Twain uses symbolism to create a certain effect in Huckleberry Finn. Diction, organization, details, and his personal point of view hides all aspects of symbolism in the novel. Twain uses many types of style analysis to connect things from word choice to the way the story flows. In this way, the reader gathers more interest out of reading the book because they have the ability to hunt out the symbolic meanings.
Jim’s meaning to Huck changes as they proceed through their adventure. He starts out as an extra person just to take on the journey, but they transform into a friend. “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger.”(Pg.84) Huck tries to squeal on Jim but can’t because he remembers that Jim called him “de bes’ fren’ I ever had;?de on’y white genlman dat ever kep’ his promise to ole Jim.”(Pg.87) Huck realizes that he can not turn Jim in since they both act as runaway outcasts on the river. The support they have for each other sprouts friendship. The events that Huck comes in contact with carry a certain sequential order. Huck started off despising the Widow’s rules, and when his Pap kidnaps him, he has no interest in returning. The juxtaposed thoughts in Pap’s mind, money and education, make him feel unworthy to Huck. Since Pap has neither quality, he does not want Huck to accelerate him in anyway. His father’s frantic activities show him as a person to always avoid and Huck now intentionally goes to school “to spite Pap”(Pg.27). “School is everything Pap is not, and everything he will never be.”(Mrs. Hunsaker) Huck had reached a point where he “was getting sort of used to the Widow’s ways, too, and they warn’t so raspy on me”. (Pg.13) It just shows that one of Huck’s major attributes is his ability to adapt to any situation and to olive in a variety of different surroundings, including a “slim old maid who held a spelling book in her hand”.(Pg.2) Twain’s use of organization improved every view on Huck as a character.
First person brings the reader a more innocent side of the story, so the reader feels more compassion for the small boy. The symbolic image falls into play between Huck and Jim, “?en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren’s en makes ‘em ashamed?”(Pg. 84), this made Huck open his eyes for the first time in his life. Jim for the first time shows feelings for Huck and lets him know you don’t treat people who care for you like “trash”. This makes Huck aware that Jim means more to him than just someone’s slave, he now considers him a friend. Next, Huck finally sees Jim’s loyalty toward him, “?so Jim he said he would stand the first half of it for me?”(Pg.124), keeping a special watch not waking him on his turn, “?I went to sleep, and Jim didn’t call me when it was my turn?”(Pg.150). Even the little things like not waking Huck, show more than just an undying friendship. The symbolism of a grown man and a child had more effect instead of having two grown men, because a child needs a father figure. Jim fit the description and perfectly provided that for him. In conclusion, Huck’s point of view always came direct, but never gave a long explanation.
The direct imagery in Huckleberry Finn describes the way Twain allows the characters to show emotion. Every time Huck sets out on the river another “big” adventure occurs, “and he looked out on the big river?”(Pg.36), he expects it to lead someplace better and to allow him to escape the threats of society, “?the river, everything was quiet?”(Pg.116). Huck felt that no one could satisfy his need for adventure; not his Pap nor the widow, he got placed in between. The river to him stands for stillness and calmness that neither one of his guardians could represent. Many things lead to their freedom, “de river wuz a-risin’, en dey wuz a good current?”(Pg.44), the river a good sign to leave, “I noticed some pieces of limbs?floating down?the river had begun to rise?always luck to me?”(Pg.30). The river symbolizes the only freedom and purity they encounter due to the cruel world. Since Jim had no real freedom because of slavery, and Huck always has to revolt and escape from the widow and Pap, the river gave them some well-deserved peacefulness.
Mark Twain portrays word choice symbolically in many ways. First, Huck mentions that the Widow Douglas wanted to “sivilize” him. (Pg.2) In contrast, Huck wants to escape and feel “free and satisfied”. (Pg.3) The very fact that Huck can not spell “civilized” contradicts with the idea of him ever becoming a normal boy. “Don’t put your feet up there, Huckleberry” and “Don’t scrunch up like that, -set up straight?”(Pg.4) Huck could never dream of turning Jim in. Jim became more than someone to take along on the journey, he became an understanding friend to Huck. The shared similarities between them only provided more reasons to become closer.
Twain’s ability to use symbolism in his novel expresses a lot about his personal character. His viewpoints and ideas that he interlocked into the book not only allowed him to hide symbolic meanings but to also express his own feelings toward his novel. Using stylistic analysis gave an excellent way to show the reader what he means instead of leaving them in the open. The success of this novel can somewhat be connected to Twain’s writing style and his symbolic technique.