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Comparing Metamorphoses In Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, Color Purple, And Catcher In The

1704 words - 7 pages

The Characters' Metamorphoses in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Color Purple, and Catcher in the

The main characters of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Color Purple, and The Catcher in the Rye begin their stories as lonely, confined, and dependent people battling with their own thoughts versus societal pressures. The three long to be self-reliant and free, but lack the means and the confidence to find themselves. Huck, Celie, and Holden ultimately venture on life-altering journeys to attain their individuality and to discover their worth as human beings.

Huckleberry Finn has tremendous difficulty transitioning from an easily influenced person to an independent one. He begins as one of many faithful followers to Tom Sawyer, willing to trail behind him into any dangerous situations because Tom seems more self-confident than he ever allows himself to be. "Everybody was willing" (Twain 9) to Tom's declaration, "we'll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer's gang" (Twain 9) where their business is "Nothing only [sic] robbery and murder" (Twain 10). Tom is so self-assured that Huck, lacking confidence in himself to make his own decisions without leadership or outside assistance, is restricted from locating his level of confidence while around his dictatorial best friend. Another dominant source of influence in Huck's life is his father, whose relationship with his son is comparable to that of a lord to a slave. Pap tries to cheat Huck out of his money, claiming "all the trouble and all the anxiety and all the expense of raising [Huck]" (Twain 26), so he can go into a drunken stupor and not be concerned about reality. To vent his anger for failed attempts, he punishes his own son through kidnapping, imprisonment, and abuse. Since Huck is slow to realize the hazards his father brings to his life, his retaliation is equally demure. Huck's rare forms of reprisal included, "I didn't want to go to school much before, but reckoned I'd go now to spite Pap" (Twain 23). Despite the pressures of his world, once Huck finally escapes the changes in the young boy are impressive. Not only has Huck made his own decision to leave his father, but he has accomplished a goal he set for himself without the help of anyone else. The swift endeavor from a terrible prison cell to an open river raft with an enlightening companion also dramatically alters Huck's outlook on life. In Huck's words, "Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft" (Twain 113). This observation demonstrates that Huck's mind is opening to the realm of forming his own opinions, making his own choices, discovering his place in the world, and learning how to decipher things as they come to him. As Huck familiarizes himself with Jim, he gains a respect for companion and is able to look beyond racial lines to form a lasting friendship. Taking his newfound inner strengths into mind, Huck is able to...

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