Huckleberry Finn – Freedom
In the novel The Adventures Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, a theme of freedom is portrayed. Freedom takes on a different perspective for each character in the novel. In Jim, the runaway slave, and Huck’s, the mischievous boy, journey, they obtain freedom. Jim’s hunt for freedom is an escape from the clutches of slavery, while Huck’s is a flight from the civilized world. Their hunting for freedom is for one reason, for their happiness. This is shown throughout the novel in Jim’s desire of escaping slavery and Huck’s wish for being uncivilized.
From the beginning of the novel, Jim lives his life as a slave. He is fairly content until one day, when he overhears his owner, Mrs. Watson, talking about selling him to New Orleans. Jim becomes terrified and runs from Mrs. Watson. From that point on in the novel, Jim turns into a runaway slave. His journey with Huck down the Mississippi river begins with only the fear of being caught as a runaway slave. Later in the journey, Jim starts to yearn for freedom from slavery. This is manifested in this quote when Huck describes Jim’s reactions about being free in Cairo, “Jim said it made him all over trembly and feverish to be so close to freedom” (97). Jim’s excitement is also demonstrated in more actions about Cairo as Huck describes more, “Jim was fidgeting up and down past me. We neither of us could keep still. Every time he danced around and says, “Dah’s Cairo!”” (97) Jim’s excitement for freedom is obvious. Slavery sets social chains on Jim’s life and hinders his happiness and his goals in life. The only way Jim can achieve his happiness is through freedom. Freedom for Jim means escape from slavery and a release from the social chains.
Huck makes a clear point about his perspective about living in the Widow’s civilized home when he states, “But it was rough living in a house all the time…and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer, I lit out. I got into my old rags, and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied” (1). Huck keeps this outlook on being restricted throughout the novel.