How are Sojourner Truth's ideas on women rights related to Huck Finn as a character?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the fundamental connection between both Huck Finn and Sojourner Truth is that both see society as something that is far from what should be.  Both Truth and Finn have to operate outside of it in order to see what elements they crave brought into fruition.  Truth has to escape from bondage and operate outside of the established social order in order to speak out against the political injustices done to women and people of color.  Huck has to escape from society in order to recognize his ideals of freedom and his own sense of ethical right and wrong.  Both figures are able to see what should be as opposed to what is and act upon it.  Truth takes great risk in fighting for her own freedom, and Huck has to live with the reality of his own life coming to an end in the recognition of what he believes is right.  Finally, I think that both of them see freedom as having to be geared towards social solidarity.  Huck does not operate in a vacuum.  His loyalty to both Jim and to Tom Sawyer helps him define freedom as something that must exist in a collective reality.  One's freedom and autonomy have to be seen in a larger context.  Truth operated in much a same manner.  She did not exercise her freedom without a sense of social obligation to others.  When Truth achieves her freedom, she commits herself to others finding the same type of narrative.  Whether this happened on a spiritual or political level, Truth sees freedom as something that must exist on a collective level.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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