How does The Adventures of Huck Finn oppose slavery?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the fundamental ways the book opposes slavery is through the idea that one cannot contain or limit the notion of human freedom.  Both Huck and Jim seek freedom.  Huck's concept is more undefinable, while Jim's is fairly well seen, but both seek to establish a domain of freedom that lies outside the realm of society's definition of freedom.  In the journey that both take, there is a strong symbolic statement about how freedom, the notion of exercising autonomy, exists beyond the ideas of social conformity and what social orders might suggest.  In this light, freedom is a transcendent quality that the individual feels compelled to pursue.  These ideas are stunning repudiations of slavery and the people who advocate it.  As opposed to tradition bound ideas that determine what freedom is and who has it, the narrative of Huck and Jim depict freedom to be quite a different element.  Within this is a strict opposition to slavery.