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This essay will analyze the themes of religion, slavery, and democracy in the book Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. By exploring these themes that lie behind the book�s veneer, we can see how Twain had an objective when he wrote this book. That is, he hoped to achieve a wide symbolic scope. By unveiling the themes that are present in the book, we can see what Twain stood for and why he wrote this novel in the period he lived in.
An Analytical Essay on Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
essay will analyze the themes of religion, slavery, and democracy in the
book Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. By exploring these themes that
lie behind the book�s veneer, we can see how Twain had an objective when
he wrote this book. That is, he
hoped to achieve a wide symbolic scope. By unveiling the themes that are
present in the book, we can see what Twain stood for and why he wrote this
novel in the period he lived in.
Religion is sarcastically reflected in Huckleberry Finn by
Twain�s sense of storyline and the way his characters talk. A predominant
theme, and probably one of Twain’s favorites, is the mockery of religion.
Twain tended to attack organized religion at every opportunity and the
sarcastic character of Huck Finn is perfectly situated to allow him to do
so. The attack on religion can already be seen in the first chapter, when
Huck indicates that hell sounds like a lot more fun than heaven. This will
continue throughout the novel, with one prominent scene occurring when the
"King" convinces a religious community to give him money so he can
"convert" his pirate friends.
skeptical take on religion can be elicited because superstition is a theme
that both Huck and Jim bring up several times. Although both of these
characters tend to be quite rational, they quickly become irrational when
anything remotely superstitious happens to them. The role of superstition in
this book is two-fold: First, it shows that Huck and Jim are child-like in
spite of their otherwise extremely mature characters. Second, it serves to
foreshadow the plot at several key junctions. For example, spilling salt
leads to Pa returning for Huck, and later Jim gets bitten by a rattlesnake
after Huck touches a snakeskin with his hands.
theme that is dealt with in this book is slavery. In fact, slavery is one of the main topics that has been frequently
debated in regards to Huckleberry Finn since it was first published.
Twain himself was vehemently anti-slavery and Huckleberry Finn can in
many ways be seen as an allegory for why slavery is wrong. Twain uses Jim, a
slave who is one of the main characters, as a way of showing the human side
of a slave. Everything about Jim is presented through emotions: Jim runs
away because Miss Watson was going to sell him South and separate him from
his family; Jim is trying to become free so he can buy his family’s freedom;
and Jim takes care of Huck and protects him on their journey downriver in a
very materialistic manner. Thus, Twain’s purpose is to make the reader feel
sympathy for Jim and outrage against the society that would harm him.
However, at the same time that Twain is attacking slavery, he also pushes
the issue into the background for most of the novel. Thus, slavery itself is
never debated by Huck and Jim.
the other slaves in the novel are noticeably minor characters. Only at the
very end does Twain create the central conflict concerning slavery: Should
Huck free Jim from slavery and therefore be condemned to go to hell? This
moment is life altering for Huck because it forces him to reject everything
that "civilization" has taught him. In the end, he makes the decision to free Jim based solely on his own
experiences and not based on what he has been taught from books.
themes of thievery and freedom also come up in the book, in that Huck and
his gang are free to whatever they want. They are on the wrong side of the
law and have no one to tell them what to do. Consequently, the themes of
robbery and freedom are ones that permeate the novel. They are first
introduced in the second chapter with respect to Tom Sawyer’s band: Tom
believes that �there is a great deal of freedom associated with being
robbers.� This theme can be
traced throughout the rest of the book. Huck and Jim encounter robbers on
the shipwrecked boat and later they are forced to put up with the King and
the Dauphin, both of whom "rob" everyone they meet and free to do
as they wish. Tom’s robber band is also paralleled by the fact that Tom and
Huck both become literal robbers at the end of the novel. They both resolve
to steal Jim out of slavery and have the freedom to do so.
conclusion, many various themes run through this novel. Tom has an
anti-slavery sentiment, which tells us what Twain thought of slavery. Also,
skepticism of religion is demonstrated through all of the hysterical
mockeries Twain makes of organized religion. Additionally, the element of
freedom is also encompassed, as the main characters are free to roam as they
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