Freedom to do what one pleases has been an essential part of American life since the start of the colonies. Every war in the history of America revolves around some variation of freedom. One war that has lasted the duration of America’s existence includes black people’s fight for their freedom: from the Civil War to Civil Rights. During the first half of civilization in America, slaves were kept in physical captivity, which inhibited their freedom. For the remaining half, slaves were segregated and looked down upon, hindering their mental freedom. Throughout Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, two captives take a journey in order to free themselves, one for mental freedom, and the other, physical. The first, Huck, is a young boy attempting to break free of his upbringing as well as the oppressive caretaking of his guardian Miss Watson and his dad, Pap. The other, Jim, is the slave of Miss Watson, who wants to escape slavery in hopes of reconnecting with his family and from fear of being sold down the river to the Deep South. The two escape separately, without knowing the other one’s plan, but accidentally meet up shortly after running away. They continue down the river on a raft, meeting different people who disrupt their goals for freedom. Although they yearn for different types of freedom, they both go on the journey in hopes of escaping oppression. Huck and Jim, despite obvious racial differences, learn to accept each other, but this was not their main intention. Jim and Huck are like caged birds on their journey: “caged birds accept each other but flight is what they long for”(Tennessee Williams). Although Huck learns to treat Jim with equality, their goal was not to become friends but rather to reach freedom and …
…racism is wrong. Another way Huck proves that he is most interested in freedom for himself is because of the way he treats Jim on their voyage, by leaving him places and generally forgetting all about him at times. Jim, too, cares about his freedom more than becoming friends with Huck because Jim does not tell Huck about his father’s death so that Huck wouldn’t want to turn around. The freedom that Huck and Jim strive for has been a pivotal part of America since the beginning of its history. Whether it is freedom from mental or physical captivity, free will is a common necessity. This want for freedom has triggered every war in our history, and it is the main reason for struggle in everyday life. American life revolves around freedom.
Twain, Mark, John D. Seelye, and Guy Cardwell. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Penguin, 2003. Print.