Civilization or Freedom for Huckleberry Finn

2230 Words9 Pages
ENC 110, Ref. # 67122, Research paper April 23, 2010 Civilization or Freedom for Huckleberry Finn In the story of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, I observed the conflicts that Huck Finn goes through by wanting the freedom of the river and escapes the civilization of the town that he lives in, St. Petersburg, Missouri. On his journey for freedom he “undergoes a rite of passage” (Schoenberg, Trudeau) that involves his conscience of knowing what is right and what is wrong with his society. The story begins with Huck Finn living with two elderly ladies who are trying to civilize Huck by sending him to school, to church, and making him wear store bought clothing. This is very difficult for Huck because he would rather be out playing hooky from school, smoking tobacco, and fishing. Once one of the old ladies, Miss Watson, tries to teach Huck how to pray, but when he tried praying for fishing gear, he only “got a fish-line, but no hooks” (Twain 168). Eventually, Huck starts to settle down to civilized life by learning how to spell, read, write “and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five”(Twain 171). At this time Huck’s greedy father appears back in town because he has heard that Huck has over six thousand dollars in the bank and Mr. Finn wants it. Mr. Finn takes Huck away from the Widow Douglas and her sister Miss Watson. Huck starts to enjoy the life of “freedom” from civilization with his father; he does not have to attend school, or church, and he can light up his pipe for a smoke any time he wants. He does not mind being his father’s prisoner out in the woods except for the beatings that he receives from his abusive, alcoholic father. After a drunken night, Mr. Finn goes insane and tries to kill Huck before passing out dead drunk for the night. Fortunately, the next morning Huck finds a canoe floating

More about Civilization or Freedom for Huckleberry Finn

Open Document