The River as a Symbol of Liberty : An analysis regarding the Significance of the Mississippi River in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Institutionen för språk, litteratur och interkultur

Author: Soran Afrasiabi; [2015]

Keywords: ;

Abstract:

Despite the extensive research on slavery during the antebellum, few authors have investigated the connection between the Mississippi river and its importance and status as a symbol of freedom throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain. Therefore, this essay attempts to analyze just how much the river actually meant for Huck and Jim during their journey towards freedom. The methodology of this analysis is based on a qualitative content analysis where categories are created and put it in relation to the historical and political landscape the novel presents. By investigating how the river functioned as an optional escape route that would lead the slaves far away from the notoriously bad treatment on the cotton fields, as well as the dangerous riverside settings which involved several risks for both Huck and Jim, this essay concludes that the river does not only work as an escape route away from captivity and civilization, it also provided the characters with a comfortable and safe home which alone could symbolize liberty.

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