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Huckleberry Finn. Over the course of the novel, Huck finds a home and his morals while traveling down the Mississippi River.

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Introduction

Elle Macy Mrs. Harbour Honors English 3 Period 3 29 January 2010 Sweet Home Mississippi Christian Morganstern once explained, "home is not where you live, but where you understand yourself" (Morgenstern 1). The transcendentalist finds his home, and therefore himself, not in civilization, but in nature. In Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck runs away from his "civilized" home to the Mississippi River to seek refuge. Much like Thoreau going to Walden's pond to escape the corruption of society, Huck finds solace on the river. Only when he goes ashore does the peace and tranquility of the River get interrupted by people and society. Ironically, they travel down the Mississippi toward the corrupt slave culture of the pre-Civil War South. The journey on the river symbolizes Huck's escape from the immorality of society into an idealistic, or utopian home on the raft where he can develop his own moral beliefs while the southward direction represents the ultimate inescapability of society. ...read more.

Middle

Sherburn explains to Huck that people "in the South... think [they] are braver than any other people--whereas [they're] just AS brave, and no braver. Why don't juries hang murderers? Because they're afraid the man's friends will shoot them in the back, in the dark--and it's just what they WOULD do" (Twain 149). This passage is Twain making a reference to the Ku Klux Klan. He vicariously speaks through Sherburn, a Northerner, to convey with judgments of the corrupted South. As Huck travels further South, Twain... However, as long as Huck and Jim stayed away from civilization, they were untouched by the evils of society. This suggests that maybe it is not the direction they are headed, but rather the people who lived upon the shores that are evil. ...read more.

Conclusion

These two men would put on shows and con people out of their money and then run away. As soon as Huck could, he planned on leaving them behind so Jim and he could go back to their peaceful times on the river. In addition, when floating down the river Huck is able to define his own morals away from the pressures of society. The river is not just an unknowing, unfeeling body of water, but becomes the catalyst to assist Huck with his moral growth. He learns that "a sound heart is a surer guide than an ill-trained conscience" and that he should listen himself and not the ways of his more civilized elders (Hammond 3). Over the coarse of the novel, Huck finds a home and his morals while traveling down the Mississippi River. Although the people on the shores try to civilize and make him conform to their evil ways, he refuses because the river has become his asylum. ...read more.

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