Animals In Huckleberry Finn

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In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain explores the journey of a runaway boy escaping his father, and a runaway slave-both of who are from the same town in the American south during the early 1800s. As they travel down the Mississippi River the two friends encounter multiple mishaps and a variety of characters as they attempt to reach their ultimate goal: to get Jim to free territory. Twain is vitally concerned about the evolving relationship between the pair. Quite often, Tom Sawyer, a game master and imaginary thinker, is brought into the story and his childish games are commonly played out or alluded to (“what would Tom Sawyer do?”). This is particularly evident in the part of the novel when Tom is scheming up an extensive…show more content…
He asks Jim if there are any animals in his prison room finishing hiding the grindstone in Jim’s room. He speaks of taming animals and says they are “grateful for kindness and petting” (261). By saying this, Tom is implying how animals have the ability to feel such emotions as appreciation and kindness. He has that expectation out of creatures to be thankful, and frankly they, “wouldn’t think of hurting a person that pet them” (261). By using the word “pet,” Tom implies that the person has ownership over the animal rather than using the word stroke or pat. A person would not likely pet another person that they feel equal to. “Pet[ting]” can have a calming effect, and it can be shown as an action of affection. In this instance, Tom is separating the authority of human and animal. Animals require look up to humans in order to see them as an authoritative figure and to show their…show more content…
By choosing to wrap the chain around the neck Twain depicts the chain as more of a collar: a tool that is used to control an animal. The animal-like qualities are only further enhanced when Jim “crawled out” of the hole that had previously been dug as part of Tom’s escape plan. Tom also belittles Jim by saying “Oh you don’t understand Jim” (258), and “don’t act so foolish” (261). Tom’s plans are undoubtedly foolish in themselves, but if Twain is portraying Jim to be an animal, then he could be bestowing Jim the same characterics of an animal even though is a
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