What symbols would you use to describe Huck's feelings and moral ideals in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" the river is symbolic of freedom from the restrictions of society.  For instance, Jim can be like a father to Huck on the river, but once on land, he again becomes the fugitive slave and an inferior to Huck.  It is on the river or its banks that Huck does some of his best reasoning, too.  For example, he decides defy the restricitions of his society and goes to rescue Jim from the treachery of the King and the Duke who have sold him.

Perhaps, then, the raft, set alone on a stream of life, may be a symbol of reason and true values such as the respect that Huck has for Jim as they travel alone together.

sharrons eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While one of the most notable and obvious symbols of Huckleberry's moral ideals is the river (which represents freedom), there are many other symbolic representations of his antisocial ideals.

For example, after Widow Douglass takes him in, Huck feels confined by the clothes he has to wear and "the models of decorum to which he must adhere" (such as not smoking).

Subseqently, the clothes that he is made to wear symbolize the constrictions of society and the clothes (or lack there of) that Huck chooses to wear symbolize his freedom.  Also, the cigarette  represents Huck's nonadherance to moral codes.

Read the study guide:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question