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"The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn" As A Hero's Quest

1436 words - 6 pages

"Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: is a novel that illustrates the social limitations which American Civilization imposes on individual freedom (Smith.1985, p.47-49)."Huck is on a hero's quest of self-identification, and in the process, resisting the beliefs of his society. A mythic quest is what a hero is embarked upon in order to be humbled. In being so, the hero understands, have sympathy and empathy toward his fellow man. The mythic quest is divided into three main categories, the departure, initiation and the return of the hero. Within each of these stages, there are steps which the hero undergoes in order to change the hero from the person he is to the person he needs to be. To understand any particular part of the hero's quest, the entire quest must be discussed. Usually the hero is afraid to take part of the journey, refusing the call. A supernatural aid or sign is then necessary to be given to the hero, in order to make him realize that he has to embark on the journey. The crossing of the first threshold is when the hero metaphorically dies and is reborn as a new person or individual. The hero is then transported to his her destination, the belly of the whale.The hero takes parts in tests that are designed to test the hero's strengths and abilities, the road of trials. The hero also receives help, the meeting of the goddess, receiving encouragement to continue the quest. The hero is tempted by the temptress who tries to take the hero off course. As the hero successfully proceeds through the journey, he becomes Christ like, the Apotheosis. As the objective of the journey is achieved, the ultimate boon is obtained. The hero then becomes the master of two worlds, the one he has left and the one he has conquered. The hero must return to his community to help those in need of his help. If the hero refuses to return, he is then sent for in order to return.Not all of these steps are included in the Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, but the phase that is most elaborated upon is the departure phase. Huckleberry Finn, the natural man, is living under the care of Widow Douglas, a religious woman, who represents society itself. She seeks to "civilize Huck"." 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. (Twain p.1)."As a natural man, Huck refutes being civilized. Being civilized imposes too many restraints upon individual freedom. All that he does have to be in accordance to the views of the society which he lives in. Therefore, in a society individual freedom is not encouraged, nor allowed. These restraints are enforced by society in order to control individuals (Steinke, J., 2003). Huck is living in a society, which he finds too much limitations being put upon him.Huck also recognizes the hypocrisy that is present in the society that he is being...

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