In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" Huck says "you feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on the raft".How would you contrast Twain's depictions of life onshore with the life on the raft so...

In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" Huck says "you feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on the raft".

How would you contrast Twain's depictions of life onshore with the life on the raft so far?

Expert Answers
mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Whenever Huck steps offshore, he encounters difficult and troubling situations. The quote above was something that Huck stated  after being caught right in the middle of a generational feud that had taken many lives. The experience was so horrific for Huck that he even had nightmares about it for years to come.  So, once he gets back to the raft, he is very relieved to have peace and quiet again. The raft represents his laid-back style of life, a little world that he can pretty much control, where society's laws and rules have little impact on him.  Off the raft, he has to deal with lying, cheating, ignorant, violent people and all of their quirky and illogical ways that often bring harm on other people.  He isn't free to be seen with Jim, to be at ease with a friend, but instead has to be wary and frightened of discovery and of other people and their schemes. 

Life off the raft is also fodder for Twain's satire.  Every situation that Huck encounters off of the raft, Twain uses to present scenarios that he can make fun of because of its absurdity.  Society and all of the ridiculous people within it are fair game for Twain's satire, and he presents an entire spectrum of people as he leads Huck off of the raft into each situation.  On the raft, it is just Huck and Jim, building a friendship.  Off the raft, it's a carnival of absurdities that Twain uses for his love of satire.

Those are just a couple of ideas; I hope they help to get you started.  Good luck!

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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