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Theme of Freedom in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

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In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain makes the point that freedom is escaping societal norms. Huck escapes captivity from his abusive father. Huck kills a pig and drags it into the river to mislead people about his disappearance. “They won’t ever hunt the river for anything but my dead carcass. They’ll soon get tired of that, and won’t bother no more about me.” Huck is planning his own death to escape his abusive father. Due to him being held captive in his father’s cabin, days at a time and is abused on multiple cases. Huck doesn’t want anyone to care for him, because he feels that if he is someplace where he is unknown, he would be much happier not having to abide by societal norms. For example, he would be escape the Widow Douglas who took him in and tried to civilize him by putting restrictions on things that are looked down upon in society. Even though, she genuinely cared and loved him, she took away his freedom by taking him in and trying to teach him manners.

Twain is trying to show that achieving freedom is for people who are physically captured but also for people who want to become free from their current environment and societal norms. Jim escapes from Miss Watson to avoid being sold to another family. Huck finds Jim on Jackson Island and Huck asks him how he got to Jackson Island. “Well I b’lieve you, Huck. I run off.”

Jim wants to head to the free states where he maintain his freedom and can earn money, to buy his family’s freedom. Through Jim, Twain is trying to show us that people can go to any extent to achieve freedom. Jim escapes from Miss Watson’s house the night after Huck’s murder, which made people think Jim commited the crime. This would put Jim’s life in risk if he was found and shows how crucial freedom is. In later chapters, Jim is always afraid of being caught and losing his freedom. Later on this page Huck states “People would call me a low-down Abolitionsists and despise me for keeping mum.” This is another reason Huck wants to escape his current situation and go to the free states. He knows slavery is wrong and Jim is a good person, however the people in his atmosphere tell him the opposite.

Twain is trying to show that blacks and whites can cooperate together to achieve a similar goal. In this case it is freedom.

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Theme Of Freedom In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain. (2019, August 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from
“Theme Of Freedom In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain.” GradesFixer, 27 Aug. 2019,
Theme Of Freedom In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Jun. 2022].
Theme Of Freedom In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Aug 27 [cited 2022 Jun 29]. Available from:
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