Comparing The Struggle For Freedom In Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn And Native Son

816 words - 3 pages

Struggle for Freedom in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Native Son

Throughout history, great authors have served as sentinels for racism and prejudice in American society. The Mark Twain novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a graphic story of 1840s America that depicts the plight of an uneducated black slave named Jim moved many to empathize with African-Americans. Compassion against the evils of slavery soon spread across the country. A war-torn America abolished slavery in 1865. However, Richard Wright’s 1940 novel, Native Son, a compelling story of the life and death of another black man, Bigger Thomas, makes a convincing argument that slavery in America was still very much alive during that period. Civil rights legislation and enforcement would not come until years later. A generation apart, Jim and Bigger embody the evolution of the black man struggling to be free in American society.

On Twain’s Mississippi of the 1840’s, slaves are regarded more as property than human— there is no freedom for the black man. Jim is trapped in a society that trumpets racial hatred; for example, Huck’s father said, “they told me there was a state…where they’d let the nigger vote…I says I’ll never vote again” (Twain 35). Early in their travels, Jim and Huck mirror the chasm in black and white relations that plagues America at the time. Blinded by prejudice, Huck seems incapable of recognizing that, much like himself, Jim is scared and running from a life of few choices, towards a dream of independence. Instead, he can only see what society allows him to—the blackness of Jim’s skin. He is reluctant to be seen with Jim because he knows “People would call [him] a low-down Abolitionist and despise [him] for keeping mum” (50). Even after Jim explains his fears to Huck by saying, “I noticed dey wuz a nigger trader roun’…en I begin to git oneasy…I hear old missus tell de wider she gyen to sell me down to Orleans,” (50) Huck still remains hesitant and only agrees to keep Jim’s secret because earlier he gave his word. To Huck, a slave is another’s property or investment; so consequently, he believes Jim is wrong to run from his master. Living in a society tolerant of such deep-rooted racism and prejudice, Jim’s generation is challenged merely to survive.

To Jim, freedom’s goals are simple—the opportunity to be with his family and live without fear of being captured or killed.

By...

Find Another Essay On Comparing the Struggle for Freedom in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Native Son

Symbolism in The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

1228 words - 5 pages 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'). Freedom is a wonderful thing many Americans today take for granted. According to Webster's Dictionary, the word freedom is defined as "the condition of being free from restraints." Although, both characters, Huck and Jim, were free in different senses, they were still free. "...Because the river was so peaceful and calm that it led to their freedom to do as they please without the barriers given by society

Racism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

755 words - 3 pages Mark Twain has always been one of the most controversial authors of all time. Though in recent years, there has been increasing controversy over the ideas expressed in his novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In some extreme cases the novel has even been banned by public school systems and censored by public libraries. The basis for this censorship is the argument that Mark Twain's book is racist, but in reality Twain was against racism

Morality in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

699 words - 3 pages , Twain saw the institution of religion as hypocritical, impractical, and convoluted. Needless to say, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn hold considerable importance in reflecting Mark Twain’s satirical view on the religious society of his time. Mark Twain introduces his satire of religion in the first few chapters of the novel. A major theme of the novel is the hypocrisy and double standards that are evident in the society surrounding Huck. This

Morality in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

755 words - 3 pages Morality in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Samuel L. Clemens's, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is told through the eyes of a young man, the narrator and protagonist, Huckleberry Finn. He learns about life and society through the nature of the world. He finds himself in many unpredictable situations, and constantly in different settings. These settings consist of land, the shore of the Mississippi River, or on a small raft

Racism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1437 words - 6 pages Lester, Julius. “Morality and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Case Study in Critical Controversy. Ed. Graff, Gerald, and James Phelan. Boston and New York: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1995. 349-359. Print. Smiley, Jane. “Say It Ain’t So, Huck” Harper’s Magazine Jan. 1996: 61-67. Print. Walrath, Norma. “Huckleberry Finn” “Rationales for Commonly Challenged Taught Books.” Connecticut English Journal 15.1 (1983): 145-148. Print

Racism in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

785 words - 3 pages participate in, without even knowing it, racism. As a person lives around racism, they accept it more and more. Racism becomes expected of others, and an individual will gradually begin to participate in racist behaviours. Eventually, as evidenced by the characters, one will soon realize that the colour of your skin does not determine your actions, brain capacity, or your worth as a person. For most of the characters in the book, they realized that Jim was not just a “nigger” worth eight-hundred dollars, but he was also a good man. Works Cited Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

Conflict in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1394 words - 6 pages Perhaps the greatest battle in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is that of the titular character with the society he lives. As he matures throughout the book, Huck cultivates ethical beliefs and a social conscience which he understands to be quite different from that of his society. In the beginning of Huck Finn, social standards are beginning to increasingly influence Huck. However, as Huck is forced to flee from society, he

Society in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1700 words - 7 pages Society in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Sometimes making a stand for what is right, especially when it is totally against the customary beliefs of your society, is not an easy accomplishment. In the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the main character Huck encounters many situations where there is a question of morality. Considering the traditional protocol of his society, Huck has to choose either what his conscience feels is

Moral and Legal Dilemmas in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

805 words - 3 pages true to his word and helped Jim out the whole way. In the end Jim is freed as Miss. Watson who had passed about two months ago and in her will she stated that she would want Jim to be freed. Huck fights the power of the all-powerful society and in the end, ends up winning. Huck is willing to give up his afterlife for Jim's freedom. To me, there could not be a more compassionate deed. Huck's unselfishness is something we could all stand to follow. Lessons can undoubtedly be learned from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The relationship between Huckleberry Finn and Jim in Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn".

2036 words - 8 pages The relationship between Huckleberry Finn and Jim are central to Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Huck's relationships with individual characters are unique in their own way; however, his relationship with Jim is one that is ever changing and sincere. As a poor, uneducated boy, Huck distrusts the morals and intentions of the society that treats him as an outcast and fails to protect him from abuse. The uneasiness about society

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1358 words - 5 pages The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is a book written by Mark Twain in the late 19th Century. It is considered a timeless classic. It tells of a poor white boy running away from brutal parents, and of an intelligent African American man who attempting to escape from bondage and free his family from slavery, and it shows how these two men, Huck and Jim, very different individuals overcome their differences to

Similar Essays

Struggle For Freedom In Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

1223 words - 5 pages Struggle for Freedom in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn       "The Widow Douglas, she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer, I lit out." The aforementioned quotation best describes Huck's philosophy when faced with ties that bind. When he is unable to

Search For Freedom In "The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn"

564 words - 2 pages In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the search for freedom is a big factor for both Huck and Jim throughout the story. Even thought Huck and Jim are both trying to escape from different reasons, their journeys were similar along the way in the sense that both of them had terrible lives until they escaped. Huck and Jim were both pretty much trying to accomplish the same things; get away from their awful lives and start over. Jim

Freedom And Racism In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

1879 words - 8 pages The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain presents the story of a 13-year-old boy who tries to escape the “sivilized” society by running away from all its constraints. On his way to freedom he meets Jim, a runaway black slave who is hiding from the villagers in order to remain alive. As their ways intersect and since both have similar goals, the two remain together in an attempt to find freedom. This is a pregnant theme in the novel and

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