Essay on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

888 Words 4 Pages
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, has a variety of themes throughout the book, but one prevalent theme is coming of age for Huck. The book takes us on the adventures of a young boy trying to grow up amidst many difficulties, the least of which is a father who is an alcoholic, con-artist who becomes abusive when under the influence. He teaches his son about drinking, fighting, lying and stealing. He also abandons Huck, leaving him on his own without any guidance. When he finds out Huck has money he kidnaps Huck and holds him captive. This is not very paternal and certainly not what a “real father” would do for their son. (Chapter 6)
Early in the book Huck escapes his father’s tyranny by faking his own death and is living on
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(Chapter 8)
Death also is part of the coming of age theme in that how death is dealt with from a young child differs from how death is dealt with by an adult. Huck shows maturity, much through what Jim has taught him in their adventures and figuring out how he wants the world to work. Huck is determined to understand why his father is not coming for him (he fears this most since Pap was so abusive). Jim is still trying to protect Huck and doesn’t want to admit the dead man on the houseboat was Huck’s father. When Jim is telling Huck how his father will not be coming back Huck responds, “Why Jim? Nemmine why, Huck-but he ain’t comin’ back no mo’. But I kept at him; so at last he says: Doan’ you ‘member de house dat was float’n down de river, en dey wuz a man in dah, kivered up, en I went en unkivered him and didn’ let you come in? Well, den, you k’n git yo’ money when you wants it’; kase dat wuz him”.
Another example of how Jim was more of Huck’s “true father” is the way Jim treats Huck. Jim’s paternal attitude toward Huck is first realized when Huck is hiding in the tree and witnesses shooting of the other boys. After he finally climbed down out of the tree to go find the swamp, and rescue his raft, he is scared. When Huck arrives at the swamp and there is no raft he yells. Jim is close by and says, “Good lan’! is dat you, honey? Doan’ make no noise.” After

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