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Huckleberry Finn's Journey to Acceptance

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Huck's Journey of Acceptance

People experience journeys that change their perception of life. One may travel great distances to escape their past or to change their future: ultimately, one travels to change oneself. One may travel to reach a coming-of-age, finally realizing that what society has presented and molded itself onto one is actually not the appropriate path. One may also travel to see what life is like, the people, places, and the adventures that lay outside one's home. Huck Finn's journey has an exact sense of all these examples and more.

Huck Finn, a rowdy and rebellious boy, but with also a logical mind, wants to experience a life where he is not "controlled" by anyone. In the beginning of the novel, Huck introduces himself as a care-free boy: smokes whenever he wishes, does whatever he finds benefits him, and enjoys life. Huck also has a dislike, more of a disapproval of the black minority in the South. He perceives that the black slaves are unemotional, dumb, and good-for-nothing; seeing them as property or items rather than people. In his Southern, white-aristocratic society, people do not fancy themselves with the government, the North, and especially black folks. Huck, being a child, abides by these common dislikes, thinking that what they say must be true. Even towards his own father, Pap, Huck can see when the white folk begins to look down on the black minority. In a scene when Pap is stinking drunk and filled to the top with hard whiskey, he goes off ranting how a, "...free nigger there, from Ohio... a p'fessor in a college...and knowed everything...and said that he could vote. But when they told me there was a State in this country where they'd let that nigger vote, I drawed out...and I'll never vote again." (page 39) Huck is influenced on a constant and daily basis how the black folk are "nothing worth breaking your neck for" or "the shirt off your back". Huck keeps mind to these customs and accepts them, but shortly after, these Southern customs will now be debated by a more controversial perspective.

At a point in the book, Huck cannot contain the restraint and beatings from his father, Pap, and decides to escape. He constructs a crafty and very effective plan, and succeeds. However, in the mist of escaping, he runs into a familiar face, whom is ironically also escaping for the same reasons. A slave worker by the name of Jim, decides to run away from the torment of slave labor and run to the North. At first, Huck, convinced by his Southern customs, wants to turn Jim back in, but decides that Jim may come in handy. They travel down the nearby river to an island where no one will suspect them to be hiding there. Once stationed on the island, Jim imposes that they should find shelter because it will rain soon. Huck finds Jim's logic to be flawed but goes against his better judgment and listens to Jim. However, it begins to rain and Huck thanks Jim for helping him out. Jim welcomes Huck and continues how, "...you wouldn't a ben here 'f it hadn't ben for Jim. You'd a ben down in de woods widout any dinner, en gittn' mos' drownded, too."(page 60) This is the first scene where Huck begins his coming-of-age journey: he begins to recognize Jim as a helpful person.

As time goes by, and as Jim and Huck travel further down the river, Jim tells



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