Huck Finn Transcendentalism Essay

1298 words - 6 pages

It appears as though Huckleberry Finn’s journey down the Mississippi for an adventure, however, Huck uses the river for much more than just enjoyment, he uses it to escape. Huck convinces himself that others will not “sivilize” him, and instead he wants to live without any rules or restraints. The river is a main aspect of Huck’s escape because not only does it carry him away from civilization, it allows him to understand that society is not always suitable since people should act out of instinct and not pressure. Although Huck never truly escapes civilization like he wanted to, it is clear that he gains his own sense of moral responsibility as he travels down the river because he begins to ...view middle of the document...

Change and travel are necessary for Huck; without them he cannot be independent.” By making this comment, Bloom thinks that Huck was not trying to permanently abandon civilization, but rather explore nature to understand his own moral responsibility and independence away from a demanding society. The river, that exposes Huck to nature, is a method of transportation for Huck, and not necessarily an escape route from civilization entirely. If Huck actually wanted to leave civilization and rules for good, he would have traveled West, but since he went South on the Mississippi, which is a major route for steamboats, it shows that he probably was not hoping for complete separation from modern society.
From the beginning of Huck’s adventure, he never understood rules and requirements; he always felt as though he should make his own decisions without any ristrictions. He did not want to listen to Widow Douglas, who represented society’s constant demands. She always made him wear nice clothes, go to school, and be respectful to others. Widow Douglas forced Huck to be obedient to rules, rather than allowing him to make his own decisions and form his own morals. Huck finally decides to leave, and claims, “The Widow Douglas, she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the hour all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her way; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer, I lit out” (Twain 1). Basically, Huck tries to reason his departure from the Widow. It is clear that he does not feel comfortable in nice clothes and clean houses, so he takes to the river and lives naked on a wooden raft with Jim. When Aunt Sally forces Huck to live a civilized life again, he complains once again, and argues, “But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me a sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before” (Twain 293). In other words, Huck would rather explore the Indian land with Tom Sawyer than be forced to live under restrictions again, especially after experiencing a natural and free life on the river. Huck did not know why he did not like civilization, but he understood that he was not willing to suffer through it. On the river, he was able to discover his own morals and individuality. He made up stories and lies that satisfied him, but he also learned to respect Jim, who was a runaway slave. The journey down the river caused Huck to understand freedom from civilization and society’s restrictions, yet he was aware that it was hard to free himself completely from others.
Huck’s adventures show that it is hard to find a balance between nature and society because the two do not...

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