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The Adventures Of Huck Finn

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Companionship in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is said to be one of the most important pieces of American Literature. It is the story of the adventures of an adolescent boy, but more deeply a story that addressed many problems of America during the time. One such example is the theme of companionship. Twain uses the theme to express not only the benefits of companionship, but the out right need for it. William Bridges says that Huck will always be a loaner in society because it would allow them to instill values and demand that he meets cultural needs. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in an excellent account of the need for companionship, especially the male-bonding relationship.

In the novel, Mark Twain creates an interesting relationship between two seemingly opposite characters: a white boy and a black man. Right away, the reader realizes this relationship seems not only odd, but almost unlikely. As the story matures, the relationship between Huck and Jim matures as well. In the beginning of the book, Huck treats Jim as though Jim is not a human-being, but something sub-human with human-like qualities. More to the climax and conclusion of the book, Jim changes in Huck's eyes. Huck now seems to regard Jim as a friend, supported by the fact that Huck did not have the heart to turn in the fugitive slave. This relationship is critical in the plot. Twain not only uses it to advance the story, but to address a rising national problem. The national need for companionship and re-bonding after the Civil War, not only to heal the wounds between the North and South, but between blacks and whites. Twain illustrates this need by making Jim become something of a father figure to Huck, a type of nurturing between men, essential for the survival of the nation. Twain sets the scene by showing that Jim felt he had an obligation to protect Huck on their adventure, especially when they enter the house floating on the river. Twain writes, "It's a dead man. Yes indeedy; naked too. He's been shot in de back...Come in, Huck, but doan' look at his face-its too gashly" (Twain 57). Twain uses this as an example to express his feelings of the need of companionship across the nation. Not only do relationships between the opposites of men need to be formed, but to take care of each other and protect others, even the people who appear to be far different than us.

Twain outlines another example of the need of companionship or relationship between foes. Twain understands that differences between humans is a part of human nature and will always exist. Yet at the same time, he feels petty indifferences can lead to disastrous results that can destroy societies. Race is a major issue that Twain addresses. However, another important issue is the way men treat each other, even men of their own race. Twain uses two trouble-making characters named Duke and King to illustrate this point. While making a mockery of several towns, cheating people out of money, and bringing misery to Huck and Jim, Duke and King are the two characters readers most-likely dislike. While it is true the pair are despicable, Twain still makes the point that even when we disagree with one another, we must learn to co-exist in a

peaceful manner and learn to live together in society. Twain writes "I see they had the king and the duke astraddle of a rail- that is, I knowed it was the king and the duke, though they was all over tar and feathers, and didn't look like nothing in the world that was human- just looked like a couple of monstrous big soldier-plumes. Well, it made me sick to see it; and I was sorry for them poor pitiful rascals, it seemed like I couldn't ever feel any hardness against them any more in the world. It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another" (Twain 223). Twain states this as an example of the basic companionship we all need, a general companionship between all people, or tolerance of one another. We do not necessarily need to completely associate with everyone, but a general acceptance is critical to our survival. Twin understands and

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