Discuss how the river provides freedom for Huck and Jim.

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mrerick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For Huck, being on the river means freedom from his pap, from school, from church, from dressing nice, from sitting up straight, from not swearing, etc. He's able to use this adventure as a method for escaping from all of the people trying to tell him how to live his life - the civilized version that Miss Watson wants him to have; and the uneducated version that Pap wants him to have.

For Jim, however, his freedom on the river is exactly that, freedom. This is his opportunity to get out of slavery for good. After finding out he was going to be sold (and getting blamed for Huck's death), he takes to river becoming an escaped slave. For Jim, the adventure is hoping that at the end of this he will be a free man with the opportunity to buy his wife and kids back again.

rstoecklin | Student

Jim and Huck looked at the Mississippi River as a free flowing river. Huck saw it as a way to get as far away from Pap as he could get. Jim saw the river as a way to escape the bonds of slavery to a new freedom.

The river strengthened the bonds between Jim and Huck. The two learned to depend on each other to outsmart what came their way.

Read the study guide:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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