1. Compare and Contrast Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
Although Tom and Huckleberry Finn have many things in common and are very good friends, they also live a life of two totally different lifestyles. Tom, who is a dreamer, lives a life out of romantic novels, and can be amusing and exasperating at the same time. He lives a life out of drama and brings out his imagination in a realistic way. He is amusing when showing his understanding of what he has read and he loves to replay what has happened He is a leader and is idolized by many including Huck.
Huck, much different than Tom, does not engage in the fantasies that Tom does and has little interest in them. He is more interested in what is happening right now and what is going on in his life in the present. He is always practical and natural, exhibiting good common sense except in rare episodes like the part about the snake bite. He sees Tom’s wide reading and vivid imagination as something that sets him on top of himself. He often thinks about how Tom would have enjoyed doing some difficult feet that he has just performed. Although he gets annoyed by Tom’s daydreams sometimes he goes along with them because he believes that Tom is someone that is on top of him.
2. Huck Finn’s relationship with Jim changes as the story progresses. Analyze how and why the relationship changes, supporting your answer with at least three examples from the story.
Jim, a slave owned by Miss Watson, is a very interesting character in the book. He seems like a person who is filled with superstitions but later down the river we learn about his fine attributes like his unselfishness and his love for Huck. Because he is more than a stereotypical slave, Huck and Jim throughout the book develop a very loyal friendship and become very good friends. Jim, who acts like a father figure towards Huck because no one else is there for him., is important to the plot because he gives Huck a reason to travel on the river. Because Jim is a runaway slave, it is necessary for Huck to keep quiet in times like for instance when Huck lies to them men about him being in the raft, instead telling them that his ill “pap” is in the raft. Huck does whatever he can to keep his word that ” he will not tell on Jim.”
When Huck hears that Jim is jubilant at the thought of escape, and also that Jim plans to steal is necessary, his own children out of slavery, he is horrified at this and shocked at his own part in such an “immoral” undertaking. Not only a plot device, Jim is also the person who brings Huck to a series of important moral decisions throughout the book.. As they travel more and more into their adventure, you can see a stronger and stronger bond growing between the two. They rely on each other and are both an essential part to their lives.
3. Analyze the significance of the Mississippi River in the novel.
The Mississippi represents a place of good. Huck and Jim, find their freedom while traveling down the river. It is a place where they do not have to worry about the evil of society. It is a place where they can drawback from society and just relax. “It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big river, lying on our backs looking at the stars…” As they travel down the river, Huck and Jim develop a loyal friendship that is very great. The river is a place out of society where the two can get away and enjoy their freedom.
4. By using examples from the plot and characters in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, explain Mark Twain’s view of society and religion.
The conflict between society and individual becomes a controlling theme throughout the novel. At first, Huck mentions how the Widow Douglas wants to “civilize” him, but in contrast, Huck wants to escape and be ” free and satisfied.” Huck encounters varying aspects, attitudes, and restrictions of society and he much rather prefers his individual freedom. Even when living with his “pap” he enjoys it much better than living in regular society because he does not like living in regular schedules; going to school, waking up at the same time. He prefers doing this out of the ordinary society.
Huck Finn is an allegory about good and evil. Huck represents the forces of good, and most of the people he meets represent evil. Society seems like a place that is holding you back, and the river seems like a place where there are no worries. He sees all his freedoms while his time on the river and enjoys it there. The Mississippi River is a god that provides both beauty and terror. Huck represents mankind’s need to retreat from the real world and to take in the pleasures of religion.