Free at Last

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EL 266

"For not only does the River connote freedom; the Shore connotes slavery, bondage in a more general sense than the actual servitude of Jim" (329)

This point kept coming back to me throughout the novel.

River = freedom, fun, good; Shore = slavery, bondage, bad....


When Jim and Huck are floating down the river they seem to have a good time and nothing really harms them. It is only when the come to the shore that they face people like the king and the duke, and get into trouble. Huck says, " You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft" (Twain 177). Indeed, he felt like he was able to be free and at ease on the raft, but that was not so on the shore. Huck was always feeling uncomfortable and uneasy at the Widows place. "It was a rough time living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; so when I couldn't stand it no longer, I lit out," remarks Huck (Twain 70).  He wanted out, away from the Shore.

Even for Jim, the shore didn't just represent slavery. On the shore he had his foot bit by the snake, he was forced to live in the swamp while Huck was with the Grangerfords, and he was taken prisoner on Silas Phelps' Farm. The land was just no good for him either.  While on the River, Huck and Jim seemed to have much more peaceful times. In fact Huck says, "two or three days and nights went by; I reckon I might say they swum by, they slid along so quiet and smooth and lovely" (Twain 177). On the river Huck and Jim were equals, both sharing in the work and traveling together.

 

1 Comments

Yes!! This is what I talked about, but in not so many words.
The river is a chance for both Jim and Huck to be safe, and free of course.
Why would they want to give up something that has provided such great times for them both? They both grow on the river, they become friends, and they help one another on their search for freedom and adventure.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that saw it :)

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