Huck's Heroic Journey

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Huckleberry Finn is commonly looked at in a derogatory fashion, but what most people fail to see is that Twain’s southern, uneducated, teen boy takes the journey of a hero. Joseph Campbell explains the heroic journey in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces as, “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man,” (30). Campbell explains that the hero goes through a cycle including: the birth of the hero, his call to adventure, the stage at which he gains helpers and amulets, the crossing of the threshold, a period of tests in which the helpers aid him, climax, the flight home, crossing the threshold to return home, recognition of the elixir, and finally the arrival home. Although Twain presents Huck as a southern, uneducated, white boy he takes him through each step of the heroic journey physically to reveal the journey to maturity that Huck takes. The beginning of the hero’s journey starts with the birth of the hero. Twain does not go into extensive details about Huck’s birth, but there is no need for that. We know that Huck has raised himself, occasionally seeing his father. Huck’s pedigree is portrayed as lowly. He never knew his mother and rarely sees his father, with whom he has no relationship. It is when Huck finally leaves the widow’s and lives with his “Pap” that he realizes his call to adventure. Campbell says that the hero’s call to adventure may be internal or external to which he may willingly or reluctantly accept. In the case of Huck Finn his call to adventure was the fact that his father was getting a little to comfortable whipping him. “But by and by Pap got too handy with his hick’ry, and I couldn’t stand it. I was all over welts. He got to

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