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Freedom How far would one go to be free? What does it really mean to be free? It comes in many different ways and forms. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain both main characters, Huck and Jim seek freedom in their own ways.
As Huck and Jim continue down the river, they see the raft as homebase and feel free while on it. While Huck stays with the feuding Grangerfords, and Jim lays low in the swamp, (Twain 72 - 86) both were happy to get back on the raft. Huck says that other places do seem so cramped up and smother but on a raft you dont (Twain 88). In other words, when they leave the raft, they express a behavior free from the strictures if society (Poupard 350). As Huck and Jim proceed down the river they meet up with the Duke and the King.
When the two come aboard with Huck and Jim the royalty wear away their welcome quickly, and Huck plans to ditch them. As soon as Huck and Jim start down the river without them Huck says that it did seem so good to be free and all by ourselves on the big river and nobody to bother us (Twain 154 - 55). To put it another way, Duke and the King symbolize society on the raft. The two corrupt Jim and Huck's ease and freedom they experience on the raft; thus Huck will do almost anything possible to lose them.
Just like Jim and Huck feel free on the raft, Huck starts to feel free from society. Huck always was partially free from society, such as not attending church, not wearing nice clothes and breaking rules (Twain 31). His main turning point is when he does something totally immoral to society in that time, he does not turn in Jim when he though he should. Instead, he says All right, then, Ill go to hell (Twain 162) and tears up the note.
He would rather do as he feels and keep a good friend than do what society tells him to do and turn him in. In this way, Marx says that evil in the book is the product of civilization (Marx 368) and that episode is one instance. As Huck goes on his journey he realizes that he has the freedom to set his own identity. Since people think that he is dead he can be whoever he wants to. Such as when he fakes his own death, then goes into town as a girl. He went into a womans house and she eventually caught on to him, then with his quick wit he makes up a whole new identity and completely fools the woman (Twain 46).
Another example is when he stay with the Grangerfords and says his name is George Jackson and fell off a steamboat (Twain 72). Since he is traveling nobody has to know his real name, and Huck enjoys making up different characters he portrays. Jim and Huckleberry learn plenty about themselves from their progressing freedom. Huck finds a friend through his freedom from society and Jim finds his freedom from slavery, although it was right in front of his face.
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