• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Civilization versus Freedom - Huck Finn

Extracts from this document...


Nicolas Antippas Mr. Lindberg English 11 12/11/2001 Civilization versus Freedom As with most books, Huck Finn has many themes developed around a central plot to create a story. In this case it is the story of a young child, Huck, and an escaped slave, Jim. It is about their ethical, moral, and character development during a journey down the Mississippi River that brings them unto many conflicts with greater society. What both Huck and Jim seek is freedom, and this freedom is sharply contrasted with the existing civilization along the great river. If Civilization versus Freedom is the overall theme of the book, then it is illustrated in many subjective ways throughout the novel, for example Tom's romanticism versus Huck's realism. ...read more.


Representing the Romantic movement, which happened by the late 1870s, Tom pulls the logical Huck into his big schemes and adventures. When all the boys come together at the beginning of the novel to create a band of robbers, Tom tells the gang that if anyone spills their secrets, the boy and his entire family will be killed. The exaggerated purpose of the gang is very comical by itself. The gang succeeds in raiding a Sunday school picnic party. The more Tom tries to convince Huck and the rest of the boys that they are stealing jewelry from Arabs and Spaniards, the funnier and the more comical the situation of the relationship between Huck and Tom becomes. ...read more.


In this manner, the wrongful belief that nineteenth-century American society, especially in the south, had overcome its racial prejudice and hatred is as ludicrous as Tom's extravagant and unrealistic plan to save the slave, Jim, from the Phelps farm. On the contrary, Huck questions the validity and the degree of reality of the society around him, including its religious teachings and social laws. But, because Huck believes that Tom's education and upbringing make his judgment sound, correct and reliable, Huck feels that he is destined for hell for all his wrongful decisions. The contrast between Huck's realism and Tom's romanticism is believed to be a condemnation on Mark Twain's part, of a society that was still divided, incoherent and unequal, without unified freedom, even after the Emancipation Proclamation. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Mark Twain section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Mark Twain essays

  1. Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

    The Duke and Dauphin con they way into tricking a very rich family that they are the long lost brothers, so they can steal the money. Since the father of the real brothers has recently died there is no real proof, except for Huck, that lets the family know they

  2. How does Twain deal with the issue of Jim's freedom?

    This is an impression that will be dispelled as Twain starts to use irony to change our opinions. This is the kind of view of blacks that was taken by the people of the so called 'civilised society' that Jim serves.

  1. Chronological Order & Its Uses in Great Expectations and Huckleberry Finn.

    An example of a suspense cliffhanger would be at the end of chapter four, when Huck lights his candle and goes upstairs only to find his father, who, as mentioned before in the story, is missing and who Huck fears because of his beating tendency, sitting in a location.

  2. Discuss and analyse the role and importance of the river in Twain’s The Adventures ...

    Although the river is not the focus throughout the novel, how it affects Huck and what it represents are always present. However, the sections, which do contain the river, act like a blank canvas for critics to write upon. The primary chapters containing descriptions of the river are a tightly

  1. The novel Huck Finn takes a strange approach to dealing with money.

    it is this lack of "civilizing" that has allowed him to remain so free of greed. The Watson sisters are considered by the people of their town to be upstanding citizens, yet they had few qualms about auctioning Jim off.

  2. Literary analysis of "Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"

    As Huck and a runaway slave, Jim, rowed their raft along the Mississippi River, into the heartland of slavery in North America, Twain was enabled to achieve a realistic portrait of American life in the 19th century (Mark Twain 2).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work