Finn Thesis Essay, Research Paper
Water serves as purification in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the Sun Also Rises. Jake and Huck cleanse themselves in water after each suffer a painful experience. Water brings emotional relief for Jake and Huck. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the Sun Also Rises describes water as spiritually peaceful and relaxing. Water acts as a purifier for both Jake and Huck. Water creates safety for Jake and Huck. Jake s cleansing takes place in San Sebastian and Pamplona. Huck s cleansing takes place in the Mississippi River. Despite the difference, Jake and Huck both achieve the same emotional relief.
In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the Sun Also Rises, water cleanses Jake and Huck after each suffer a painful experience. Jake has many painful experiences where he needs to cleanse himself with water afterwards. Jake suffers a painful experience when he witnesses Frances and Cohn s altercation with each other, As I [Jake] went out the door I looked back through the two thicknesses of glass and saw them [Frances and Cohn] sitting there. She was still talking to him. (58) Jake needs to cleanse himself in water because of the painful experience, I [Jake] put the mail on the table, went back to the bedroom, undressed and had a shower. I was rubbing down when I heard the door-bell pull. (60) Jake takes another shower when he arrives in San Sebastian, Then I took a shower in the bathroom and went down to lunch. (238) Jake takes a shower because of his travel from France and Spain. France is a country concerned about money and Spain is not, Life was so simple in France. I felt I was a fool to be going back into Spain. In Spain you could not tell about anything. (237) In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck suffers a painful experience when he witnesses the shooting between the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons, I [Huck] stayed in the tree till it begun to get dark, afraid to come down. Sometimes I heard guns away off in the woods; and twice I seen little gangs of men gallop past the log store with guns; so I reckoned the trouble was still a-going on. (112) In the next chapter, Huck is swimming in the Mississippi River, trying to cleanse himself of the painful experiences he has seen with the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons, Then we [Huck and Jim] set out the lines. Next we slid into the river and had a swim, so as to freshen up and cool off; then we set down on the sandy bottom where the water was about knee-deep, and watched the daylight come. (113) Jake and Huck relieve themselves of their painful experiences.
Water is a spiritually calm and relaxing element. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn describes the Mississippi river as still and grand, Well, when Tom and me [Huck] got to the edge of the hilltop we looked away down into the village . . . was the river, a whole mile broad, and awful still and grand. (8) The Mississippi River provides a comfortable and lax ambience for Huck, When it was dark I [Huck] set by my camp-fire smoking, and feeling pretty well satisfied; but by and by it got sort of lonesome, and so I went and sat on the bank and listened to the current swashing along, and counted the stars and drift-logs and rafts that come down, and then went to bed. (39) Moreover, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn describes the Mississippi river as still, solemn and grand, It was kind of solemn drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars . . . . (63) The water is calm and relaxing. The Sun Also Rises describes the Irati River as smooth and deep, The gate was up, and I [Jake] sat on one of the squared timbers and watched the smooth apron of water before the river tumbled into the falls. In the white water at the foot of the dam it was deep. (124) Both works describe water as an element that is spiritually soothing. Jake describes the water in San Sebastian as serene, Out beyond where the headlands of the Concha almost met to form the harbor there was a white line of breakers and the open sea. They came in like undulations in the water, gathered weight of water, and then broke smoothly on the warm sand. (238)
Water creates security in both works. In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck feels secure when he is on the river, I never felt easy till the raft was two mile below there and out in the middle of the Mississippi. Then we hung up our signal lantern, and judged that we was free and safe once more. (113) In the Sun Also Rises,
Jake and Huck have different methods of cleansing, yet they both achieve the same sense of relief. In the Sun Also Rises, Jake cleanses himself at the San Sebastian beach, The water was cold. As a roller came I [Jake] dove, swam out under water, and came to the surface with all the chill gone. I swam out to the raft, pulled myself up, and lay on the hot planks. (238) Jake dives through, under the water, smoothly, and reaches the surface. Jake and Huck are similar in their cleansing because they both swim smoothly and relaxed. Jake goes through a painful experience when he sees the amorous couple and feels he must dive once more in order to relieve himself of his emotional distress. Jake goes through several dives again when he sees an amorous couple in San Sebastian, A boy and girl were at the other end . . . . Then I [Jake] tried several dives. I dove deep once, swimming down to the bottom. I swam with my eyes open and it was green and dark. (239) He does not feel that the cleansing had been enough. Jake takes a final dive, cleansing himself completely, After a while I stood up, gripped with my toes on the edge of the raft as it tipped with my weight, and dove cleanly and deeply, to come up through the lightening water. (242) Finally, Jake finishes his cleansing with a deep dive into the water and emerges out of the water. In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck and Jake cleanse themselves differently, but manage to achieve the same sense of relief, . . . and let her float wherever the current wanted her to; then we lit the pipes, and dangled our legs in the water, and talked about all kinds of things-we was always naked, day and night, whenever the mosquitoes would let us . . . Jake and Huck purify by cleansing themselves with water.
In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the Sun Also Rises, water is an element of purification that heals wounded emotions. Huck and Jake use water to receive emotional relief from society. Huck and Jake cleanse themselves, yet the purity of water remains. Water is used as a universal symbol in both works. The purity of water cleanses Jake and Huck. Jake and Huck are safe when they are around water. Huck cleanses himself in the Mississippi river. Yet, Jake cleanses himself in the San Sebastian beach. In the end, Huck and Jake receive the same relief from society s painful experiences.