Whenever Feel A Strong Impulse To Essay
“Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them — and then, the opportunity to choose.” C. Wright MillsThe definitions above prove that one can never talk about slavery alone.
The idea of slavery always comprises the idea of freedom, as well. Freedom is the absence of slavery, as light is the absence of dark. Neither of them can be expressed alone, without inferring the sense of its opposite. It is hard, if not impossible to reveal the depth of freedom if you have never felt prisoner, captive in a world that does not belong to you, and where you remain stuck between sets of stiff rules.
And it is even harder to speak about slavery if you have never felt freedom.Slavery and freedom are subjects of many novels, poems, articles, etc. Writers make their choice to render their ideas about such sensitive and difficult subjects because they feel the impetuous need to speak up and express their revolt. And, sometimes, it is a lot easier to speak up in writing than in front of an audience.
Anyway, it is even more effective if we think of the much larger public of readers a novel can have.Audience is not a problem when we talk about Mark Twain’s book: “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. The author left the title of his book without a definite article to underline the idea that the adventures of his characters are not over and that his characters will live forever in his book. Either children or grown up people, they all enjoy reading this book where pre-conceived ideas fade away and humor, and witty words are the attraction of the text.
An apparently simple, yet complex philosophy of life is hidden behind the humor of the text.Mark Twain chooses an interesting and intelligent manner to express both his anti-slavery ideas and his revolt towards those who oppress people, by making them slaves. He chooses a character, Huckleberry Finn, a young and uneducated child to be the main figure of his book and express the author’s ideas in an original and colorful way of speaking.It is said that children reveal the truth in a clear and more sincere manner.
That is definitely true and Twain’s book shows it. Huck Finn could never betray Twain’s audience through lies and hypocrite behavior, because he has been chosen to reveal the truth and depth of people.Both as a novelist and simple man, Mark Twain (Clemens) shows his great hatred towards slavery. As a simple man, he showed his revolt against slavery, when he simply refused to accept the land his father owned in the South of America. “He simply cut himself off from his Southern heritage, his father’s ill-grounded pride in high Virginia lineage.
..” (Warren 104). As a writer, he chose Huck Finn to defend his own ideas, and express his view about slavery.Huck is not a vehement fighter against slavery; he was not created to make loud speeches or be a hero of the enslaved.
On the contrary, in the beginning, he, himself is not sure whether it is good or bad to hide and defend Jim, his black friend who was a runaway slave. It is his consciousness which, eventually, tells him what to do and influence his decisions. Therefore, Twain’s character proves to be a complex and wise child. His ideas seem childish and naïve, but they hide both a very strong character and sense of justice.In the book, when Huck faces his questions and he is not sure which behavior to choose, he listens to his consciousness and eventually says: “All right, then, I’ll go to hell (…) — and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said.
And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming.” (Twain 191) These are the child’s words when he chooses to hide and defend Jim and not to betray him. Finn is an uneducated young man. His words are spoken in a rough language, where grammar rules do not make room with his talking style. The fragment quoted above proves the author’s idea that people (here he refers to slaves) must not be judged after the rules of society, but after one’s heart and consciousness.
Twain sensed that his contemporaries had a disturbed sense of reality, lacking a sense of justice applied to the entire human race. “Throughout the novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain emphasizes the fact that people were unaware of the fact that the oppression of blacks was wrong. He shows that there needs to be better relations between the two races. He attempts to show this through the character Huck Finn” (Sloane 104). Through his novel, Twain wishes not only to prove his anti-slavery ideas, but also mark a moral sense of the novel. His main character proves to be unconsciously moral.
By choosing the truth and making the good decision to defend Jim, he is a moral character, teaching the readers a lesson. Thus, the young uneducated child educates his public.Huck Finn is, indeed, an uneducated child, and his aunt’s attempts to “sivilise” him (as he calls the process of education many times in the novel) did not succeed. Even though he has no education, he is still able to understand and reproduce his father’s words about slavery and about the society they were living in. His father has a certain influence upon the child’s ideas about life, but, in the end, he proves to make his own decision upon the subject of slavery.
“Pap Finn, Huck says, “had been drunk over in town” and “was just all mud.” He tells very angrily the story of “a free nigger…from Ohio–a mulatter, most as white as a white man,” “..
.they say he was a p’fessor in a college, and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything. And that ain’t the wust. They said he could vote when he was at home.
(…) It was ‘lection day, and I was just about to go and vote myself if I warn’t too drunk to get there: but when they told me that there was a state in this country where they’d let that nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I’ll never vote again “( Twain 101)There have been many debates whether “Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” is a racist book or not. Racist is maybe a too harsh word in the sense of characterizing an adventure book for children. Probably, Twain had no intention to make a racist book out of his creation. Nevertheless, the word “nigger” which appears in the text a lot of times, reveals a racist world through the words and mind of a child. Finn’s vocabulary proves once more the sad, if not desperate situation of the black people in America.
In the end, Huck chooses not to listen to the rules of the society he was living in. By choosing to help Jim, not only does he give up his culture, but also the history of his people. He denies his roots and origins. Nevertheless, he discovers the essence of friendship and humankind, and places all the people, black and white on the same level.Twain manages to create a realistic character, hidden behind the mask of a child.
Our young hero judges the oppressive society he lives in and decides upon not making the same mistakes with his fellow Jim. In the book, Jim is the symbol of the oppressed people, the slaves, who have no choice but to obey the whites’ rules. For Huck he is not a symbol, he is just a friend and a companion and the color of his skin is not important. For Huck, black and white are the same.