The Huck Finn’s rebellious character has been

The novel Huckleberry Finn proposes
various themes: slavery, true friendship, the situation of African-Americans at
that time, race and mentality issues. In this essay, I’m going to present the
fight for freedom in Mark Twain’s novel, Huckleberry
Finn. The protagonist, Huckleberry Finn and his black friend
Jim fight against conflicts of interest and social morality in order to gain
their freedom.

Since the beginning of the novel, Huck
Finn’s rebellious character has been highlighted. He is aware of the fact that
widow Douglas wants to civilize him, to transform him into a boy who goes to
the church and to school. He accommodates with the idea of going to school and
doing his homework but he cannot accommodate with the idea of religion:

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            … but by and by she let it out that Moses
had been dead a considerable long time; so then didn’t care no more about him,
because I don’t take no stock in dead people.(Twain, 2)

realizes that the widow wants to civilize him but cannot easily detach himself
from his habits that the widow forbids as it is declared:

Pretty soon I
wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she wouldn’t. She said it
was a mean practice and wasn’t clean, and I must try to not do it any more.(Twain,2)

He was not accustomed to the habits of
educated boys, for this reason the widow’s observations are often made.  “Don’t put your feet up there, Huckleberry “(Twain,3) and  “Don’t gap and stretch like that, Huckleberry—why don’t you try to
behave?” (3)

Although he seems to be trying to get used
to this situation, he does not succeed. He does not behave properly because of
his “morality” but because he does not want to upset the widow, he
knows this would not do any good. He does not understand why he has to listen
to stories about dead people or why the widow gets upset for every little thing.
Consequently, he begins to feel increasingly imprisoned, captive in a cage:

All I wanted was
to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change, I warn’t particular.(Twain,3)

Involuntarily he feels the need to escape
and fails to meet the standards required by his protector. He manages to escape
at night, when the entire house of the widow is immersed in the dark and he is
free to sneak out into the woods.

The situation changes dramatically when Pap
appears Huck Finn’s father, who has other plans for his son. His alcoholic
father does not want Huck Finn to be educate, he does not want his son to be
above him. He takes the protagonist away from the widow and forces him to live
with him in a shack located in the middle of nature, away from civilization. At
first Huck Finn feels free to live with his father because he can be as lazy as
he wants, to smoke without anyone arguing, running through the woods and being
free to do whatever he wants.

 It was kind of lazy and jolly, laying off
comfortable all day, smoking and fishing, and no books nor study. (Twain,33)

begins to complicate when Pap is extremely angry because he does not manage to
get his son’s money and begins to lock him in the hut and forget him there for
several days. He comes home drunk, he’s beating his son and threatening him
with the gun.

Once he locked
me in and was gone three days. It was dreadful lonesome. (Twain,26)

All these situations where Huck  is forced to pass alongside Pap’s threats that
if would die, Huck is about to be taken by the widow and taken back to school,
made Huck to think of an ingenious plan that would make him feel better, take
him out of the hut and make him free.

The desire for freedom is now more obvious
than ever. He wants to escape forever from Pap and all his threats and on the
other hand he wants to escape from the widow and her desire to educate him. The
only way he can feel free and safe is away from all these people, making them
believe he is dead:

The old man made
me go to the skiff and fetch the things he had got. (Twain, 27)

Island has been for some time the place where Huck Finn feels most free.
There’s everything he needs: it’s far from Pap and the widow, he can smoke and
be lazy. On this island he meets Jim, the black of Miss Watson’s “big nigger”(Twain,5),
who also runs to be free. The friendship of the two becomes more and more
tight. The protagonist tries to help Jim escape and fulfill his dream of
freedom. For this very reason, his “morality” is put to the test. At
that time, anyone who helped a black man to escape was considered a man without
morality. He blames himself many times for what he does, but does not feel that
in the depths of his soul highlighted in Huck’s speech:

They went off
and I got aboard the raft, feeling bad and low, because I knowed very well I
had done wrong, and I see it warn’t no use for me to try to learn to do right;
a body that don’t get started right when he’s little ain’t got no show—when the
pinch comes there ain’t nothing to back him up and keep him to his work, and so
he gets beat. (Twain, 94)

For him it does not matter that Jim is
black or he is a fugitive, he understands his desire to be free. It is common
with his desire to be free. Both are two fugitives who want to live their lives
at will.

Duke and The King are an obstacle for Huck and Jim’s freedom. Huck and Jim are
forced to treat them according to the rank they both claim to have, becoming
their slaves. The two characters can appeal to imperialism and the anti-imperialist
attitude of Mark Twain. Even if Huck realizes that the two are not what they
claim to be, he keeps the appearances to avoid a possible conflict. In fact,
those two prefer to exploit the innocence for their own gain (Richard Ruland,
Malcolm Bradbury; From Puritanism, pdf),
doing the same thing with Huck and Jim but also with the inhabitants of the
villages through which they passed.

rift has become a special place, mythical for the interaction between the two
Huck and Fin. Huck’s innocence, his child’s mind is rendered by not finding
words for what he does; questions many social values and fails to understand
them. He is generally guided by his heart.( (Richard Ruland, Malcolm Bradbury; From Puritanism, pdf). The friendship
between Huck and Jim formed on the island of Jackson’s island and strengthened
on the rift which gave them freedom.

last challenge which will be the hardest one is in Phelps’ family. Huck finds
out that Jim was bought by Phelps from the Duke and The King. Huck and Tom
Sawyer come together to help Jim escape his fate of slavery. Huck’s morality is
tested for the second time but as he did before, he chooses to be a bad boy and
helps Jim with a typical language :

All right, then,
I’ll go to hell (Twain, 217)

Huck’s plan was simple and easy to
accomplish, but Tom Sawyer intervened and made it more complicated to prove
that it was more satisfying to take advantage of your freedom when you worked
hard to get it. The two manage to win their freedom after Tom’s plan. Huck
escapes forever from Pap and is free to join Jim and Tom in various adventures.
Jim is free by the agreement of Miss Watson.

and Jim have to go through several obstacles to win their freedom. Firstly,
Huck is confronted with the widow who is trying to change and educate him.
Another obstacle to his total freedom is Pap, his father, who begins to lock
him in the hut to win Huck on his side by violence. Jim becomes his partner and
the one who understands him best. The Duke and the King and finally the Phelps
are another obstacle.

conclusion, the freedom of the two fugitives is won after a cranny fight.
Huck’s morality is being challenged by society and the interests of the two
impostors: the Duke and the King who make the two friends go through a
difficult challenge.




Sacvan_Bercovitch_Cambridge_History_of_American_( Prose 1860-1920.pdf

Sacvan_Bercovitch_The_Cambridge_History_of_Ameri_Prose 1820-1865.pdf

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn. A Glassbook Classic.