What are are some text references for freedom, rebelliousness, and deception/trickery in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"?

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Here are some more references:

Freedom on the raft, where Jim assumes the adult/parent relationship free from restrictions of society:  At the end of Chapter XVIII, Pip remarks

I never felt easy till the raft was two mile below there and out in the middle of the Mississippi.  Then we hung up our signal lantern, and judged that we was free and safe once more...Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't.  You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.

Other chapters that refer to freedom on the river: VIII, XIV, XV, XIX

Deception involves Pa as he feigns his death in Ch. III.  In Ch. XI, Huck pretends to be a girl in Hookerville in order to learn if there is talk about his "murder" and Jim's having escaped/being accused of this murder.  In Ch. XIII, Huck uses deception for good, however, as he tells the ferryboat watchman that his family is on the ship, Walter Scott, so that the watchman will go the ship and catch the murderers.  His act of friendship in rescuing Jim from the treachery of the Duke and the King who sell him is deceptive, but again Huck's motives are good (Ch.XXXI

Of course, as mentioned previously, the greatest scoundrels, the King and the Duke, are criminally deceptive as they conduct scams in several towns along the river. Ch. XXIII has an example.

Rebelliousness is often in Huck's nature as he "takes up cussin'" with his Pa although he knows Miss Watson has forbidden his doing so.  He escapes from Pa in Ch. VII.  Huck also rebels against society when he rescues Jim from being caught as an escaped slave. In Ch.XXXI, Huck has an internal conflict: 

It would get around that Huck Finn helped a nigger to get his freedom....The more I studied it about this, the more my conscience went to grinding me, and the more wicked...I got to feeling.

Huck realizes that he "was playing double."  Jim is his friend; so, he saves his friend, despite the laws of society.

slchanmo1885's profile pic

slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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The river is a major symbol of freedom for Huck. When he is on land, he experiences corruption, however when he is on the river he experiences freedom, as evidenced by the quote in chapter 18, "You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft."
There are many cases of Rebelliousness, but when Huck decides to rebel against society and everything he has been taught, and free Jim, he remarks, "all right then, I'll go to hell." This is the pivotal moment of the book.
There is also an abundance of deception and trickery in the text. Huck often lies in order to find out information or to protect Jim. However, the main characters that exemplify deception are the duke and the king, who try to scam the Wilks family out of their inheritance by pretending to be the deceased Peter Wilks' brothers. There are many, many quotes that can be used as evidence for deception beginning in Chapter 24. One example is when Huck tells Mary Jane about the deception, saying "These uncles of yourn ain't no uncles at all; they're a couple of frauds -- regular deadbeats" (Chapter 28).

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