In a Huckleberry Finn research paper, you may address events occurring in the novel that discuss Huckleberry Finn's character, resourcefulness, and also his compassion. There are several themes within the novel that serve as excellent topics for a literature research paper on Huckleberry Finn.
- Race in the novel Huckleberry Finn
- The relationship between Jim and Huck
- The concept of freedom in the novel
- The language in the novel that is currently deemed derogatory
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a complex novel and an entertaining adventure. Each of the characters is rich in adding perspective to the plight of humanity at the time that Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn. Tom Sawyer is the main character in the novel, for his presence is always felt in an authoritarian way through direct dialect and in romantic manipulations of adventure. The novel's pervasive theme is freedom. The obvious parallel is Jim seeking freedom from white oppression; however, the plight of Huck seeking freedom from Tom is a subtle theme and perhaps more pitiful. Huck was under Tom's thumb, as seen in the following passage: "when Jim but into it most mashed all his teeth out; and there warn't ever anything could 'a' worked better. Tom said so himself." Huck never doubted Tom outright, but experienced a pervasive, nagging doubt within himself.
Tom's ambition is to become famous without counting the cost to himself or others. The adventure's the thing; the hurt and anguish of Aunt Sally, the pain and discomfort of Jim, these never occur to him. But Huck, involved in real adventures, is continually bothered by his conscience. All during the raft ride down river, he tries to answer the question whether he's doing right by the Widow's sister and by Jim, or not. The preoccupation with justice has him on the horns of a dilemma. Whatever he chooses to do, he's wrong. He's wronging Jim if he returns him to slavery; he's wronging Miss Watson if he helps Jim escape. Huck has no way of knowing what is right because he has no role model in Tom, his hero. We also see Huck as he is, the opposite of Tom. He is a realist, and generally level-headed except when he goes off after Tom Sawyer's adventure, or when he follows Tom's lead. He is not "civilization." The end of the book makes this clear. He is where he was in the beginning: he left the Widow's house, and he will leave Aunt Sally's. But will Tom lead him down the path of another misadventure?
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