Books and Movies Reviews

Huckleberry Finn

The Imprisonment and Freedom of Huckleberry Finn
In his picaresque novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written in 1883, Mark Twain describes the destructive power of oppression by society.Throughout the novel Huckleberry Finn constantly has to fight for his freedom from the oppression of the social mores of the time, one of which being the enslavement African Americans.The power of that oppression on Huck, as well as on his friend Jim- who is a runaway slave- controls every moment of their lives- that is, when they are on land.At the moment that the two cross the shore to board the raft on the river, they are freed from society's destructive grasp.In the novel, contrasting settings serve to show the opposing forces of repression and freedom.One setting, the land, mirrors the coercion of society on all people who live in it.The other setting, in great contrast, reflects the freedom that one acquires once he leaves society.These settings in the novel portray the relevant, constant struggle between the bondage of society and the freedom that all must seek; the freedom that can only be found when one leaves the society to which s/he is bound.
The two settings differ drastically, because they are representative of the opposing ideals of constraint, and freedom in the novel; land represents bondage and captivity, while the river represents innocent freedom.For example, in Huck's eyes, most places on land "seem so cramped up and smothery" he can barely breathe, let alone live (page 137).This means that, while the river allows him to feel free and limitless, the land constricts that freedom- it is hardly a comfortable place where Huck can just be himself.Instead, he is forced to constantly behave as others think he should.In vivid contrast, however, Huck acknowledges the river as "miles and miles ac

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