The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Notably, the physical setting of this book, especially the raft and the river has as well drawn the critics’ attention. For instance, the Mississippi River serves as a form of no man’s land in the novel, a location outside the society governed by different regulations and rules. On the other hand, the raft turns out to a new world for Jim and Huck in which they can become themselves and come up with their own guidelines by which they can live.
On the two sides of the river, there are shores that represent a coming back to society. Importantly, it is Huck that makes expeditions into townships on the river banks in search of information, food, and fun. Whereas Huck can serve as a form of a wanderer, moving from place to place without becoming a part of the society; on the other hand, Jim has to conceal himself on the raft, the sole place he can feel safe.
Moreover, perhaps the most deliberated aspect of the novel is how it deals with the race issue. However, there is no definite stance on racism and race that comes out. In spite of the fact that Huck eventually respects Jim as a fellow human; still, he exhibits his chauvinism towards blacks. For example, Huck’s surprise at Jim’s intense feelings for his family comes with the proclamation, “I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for their’n. It don’t seen natural but I reckon it’s so” (Twain 73). Even after making the decision to assist in setting Jim free, Huck shows that he still does not consider blacks as human beings overall.
To conclude, Mark Twain uses the setting and characters to clearly show the themes in the novel, especially the theme of slavery and racism. In this regard, the author shows how slavery has eventually affected the American society, resulting into racism. The whites have considered blacks as being lesser human beings.