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Huck Finn, Civilization and Freedom

            In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," by Mark Twain, Twain writes about a young boy, named Huckleberry Finn, who's conflicted between being civilized by everyone he met and being himself; to do so Twain uses symbolism to show the struggle between civilization and freedom. He uses a river to symbolize the freedom Huck has while he is away from his surrounding (civilization), and the land around it to symbolize society closing in on him to civilize him. Through Huck's adventure with Jim, a runaway African-American slave, Huck finds himself being civilized in some ways just like his caretakers, the Widow and Miss Watson, had taught him before he ran away from his Pap, who "kidnapped " him to keep him from being civilized in any way. Although Huck seems to have learned some manners and finds himself using them throughout his adventure, he rejects civilization altogether because he wanted to be free to be himself.
             Twain starts this conflict by having Huck face civilization face on. Huck faces the Widow's rules and expectations, but isn't used to them. "She put me in them new clothes again, and I couldn't do nothing but sweat and sweat and feel all cramped up "(10). Huck doesn't feel so good with his new clothes, because he's used to dressing the way he want so that he's able to play. Huck doesn't find meaning in wearing "nice " clothes; he just wants to do whatever he wants to. When the widow puts him in new clothes, all he does is sweat and sweat, which shows how uncomfortable he is while adorning the pieces of clothing. "I got into my old rags, and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. " (9) When Huck "lit out " of the Widow's strict care, he went back to his carefree ways; dressing however he feels. He senses his true self when he is dressed in torn fabric and rags. After, Twain show's how Pap, Huck's father, has a different point of views of civilization. "And looky here - you drop that school, you hear? I'll learn people to bring up a boy to put no airs over his own father and let on to be better'n he is.

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