The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Symbolism
1. Compare and Contrast Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
Although Tom and Hucklberry Finn have many things in common and are very
good friends, they also live a life of two totally different lifestyles. Tom,
who is a dreamer, lives a life out of romantic novels, and can be amusing and
exasperating at the same time. He lives a life out of drama and brings out his
imagination in a realistic way. He is amusing when showing his understanding of
what he has read and he loves to replay what has happened He is a leader and is
idolized by many including Huck.
Huck, much different than Tom, does not engage in the fantasies that Tom
does and has little interest in them. He is more interested in what is
happening right now and what is going on in his life in the present. He is
always practical and natural, exhibiting good common sense except in rare
episodes like the part about the snake bite. He sees Tom’s wide reading and
vivid imagination as something that sets him on top of himself. He often thinks
about how Tom would have enjoyed doing some difficult feet that he has just
performed. Although he gets annoyed by Tom’s daydreams sometimes he goes along
with them because he believes that Tom is someone that is on top of him.
2.Huck Finn’s relationship with Jim changes as the story progresses. Analyze
how and why the relationship changes, supporting your answer with at least three
examples from the story.
Jim, a slave owned by Miss Watson, is a very interesting character in
the book. He seems like a person who is filled with superstitions but later
down the river we learn about his fine attributes like his unselfishness and his
love for Huck. Because he is more than a stereotypical slave, Huck and Jim
throughout the book develop a very loyal friendship and become very good friends.
Jim, who acts like a father figure towards Huck because no one else is there
for him., is important to the plot because he gives Huck a reason to travel on
the river. Because Jim is a runaway slave, it is necessary for Huck to keep
quiet in times like for instance when Huck lies to them men about him being in
the raft, instead telling them that his ill pap is in the raft. Huck does
whatever he can to keep his word that he will not tell on Jim.
When Huck hears that Jim is jubilant at the thought of escape, and also
that Jim plans to steal is necessary, his own children out of slavery, he is
horrified at this and shocked at his own part in such an immoral undertaking.
Not only a plot device, Jim is also the person who brings Huck to a series of
important moral decisions throughout the book.. As they travel more and more
into the their adventure, you can see a stronger and stronger bond growing
between the two. They rely on each other and are both an essential part to
3. Analyze the significance of the Mississippi River in the novel.
The Mississippi represents a place of good. Huck and Jim, find their
freedom while traveling down the river. It is a pace where they do not have to
worry about the evil of society. It is a place where they can drawback from
society and just relax.It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big river,
laying on our backs looking at the stars…As they travel down the river,
Huck and Jim develop a loyal friendship that is very great. The river is a
place out of society where the two can get away and enjoy their freedom.
4. By using examples from the plot and characters in The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn, explain Mark Twain’s view of society and religion.
The conflict between society and individual becomes a controlling theme
throughout the novel. At first, Huck mentions how the Widow Douglas wants to
civilize him, but in contrast, Huck wants to escape and be free and
satisfied. Huck encounters varying aspects, attitudes, and restrictions of
society and he much rather prefers his individual freedom. Even when living
with his pap he enjoys it much better than living in regular society because
he does not like living in regular schedules; going to school, waking up at the
same time. He prefers doing this out of the ordinary society.
Huck Finn is an allegory about good and evil. Huck represents the forces
of good, and most of the people he meets represent evil. Society seems like a
place that is holding you back, and the river seems like a place where there are
no worries. He sees all his freedom while his time on the river and enjoys it
there. The Mississippi River is a god that provides both beauty and terror.
Huck represents makind’s need to retreat from the real world and to take in the
pleasures of religion.