The Free Raft

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Clemens - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Ch11-35)

"We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft." (pg:177)

Huck states this at the end of Chapter 18, after he has been with the Grangerfords. I thought this quote was important - it seems to summarize Huck's thoughts on society so far. He sees the injustices, especially after coming from the Shepherdson feud. The raft is his safe-haven and the place where he can escape from all the injustices of his society. Jim offers Huck some delicious food, and they share it and enjoy each other's companionship. The raft seems ideal to Huck, at least for a while. It symbolizes the bubble that Jim and Huck wish to live in away from society. 

Unfortunately, the raft is not the safe-haven that they wish it to be. Once they pick up the duke and dauphin, Huck and Jim have suddenly lost their freedom to a couple of thieves. In a way, they both knew that the raft wasn't totally free - they just chose to romanticize it while they could. It was a needed, momentary escape. The raft carried them down the river, to 'freedom.' But it seems as though freedom has a large price.


2 Comments

We've seen Huck's views before too, when he faked his death.
Obviously Huck doesn't really appreciate fine living as it were. Being with Jim, on the raft, allows Huck to be free.

Good point about the temporary safe-haven. I hadn't really thought about it too much. You could further defend the point by referencing the raft getting destroyed (and repaired), as well as when Jim and Huck were split up, since they no longer had the security of each other to go with their shared search for freedom.

KatieLantz said:

I agree with you Jessica that this quote is most definitely important. It seems that Huck was really trying to convince himself that things would be okay, as long as he had the raft.

Like Heather, I never really had thought that the raft was a "bubble" keeping them away from society, but I do see your point.

Also, the one argument I was thinking of when I was writing my post was when Jim and Huck were separated during the fog. The raft couldn't keep them safe from the elements of nature...

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KatieLantz on The Free Raft: I agree with you Jessica that
Heather Mourick on The Free Raft: We've seen Huck's views before