Huckleberry Finn Identity Analysis

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The identity process is one that is ongoing for people. Identity is not fixed; rather, it is messy. Identities are formed through both internal and external forces in people’s lives. Mark Twain and Kate Chopin successfully do this through their novels “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “The Awakening.” Mark Twain presents Huckleberry Finn as a young, white child in Missouri looking for a middle ground between all of the chaos he is facing. On the other hand, Kate Chopin’s protagonist Edna Pontellier undergoes a dramatic journey to find herself through an inner awakening, amidst the atmospheres of New Orleans and Grand Isle. What both of these characters have in common is their search for identity through their feelings of isolation, confusion,…show more content…
One last great act of rebellion that Huckleberry Finn engages in is when he gets his best friend Tom Sawyer to help him get Jim to escape from being captured one last time. This is out of the ordinary because Tom Sawyer is both white and comes from a very respectable background. When Tom agrees to help “steal” Jim back from captivity, Huck can’t help but explain, “It was the most astonishing speech I ever heard – and I’m bound to say Tom Sawyer fell, considerable, in my estimation. Only I couldn’t believe it. Tom Sawyer a n****r stealer! (170-1)” At this point in the novel, Huckleberry Finn has then used his new attitude and rejection of social expectations to influence Tom for the greater good. This effect is quite revolutionary because now Huck is not the only figure within the white social sphere to go against the established black and white binary that has continued to be emphasized. One of the last acts of rebellion that Edna chooses to follow through with is when she finally moves out of the house with Léonce and her kids, and decides to live on her own. This decision ultimately impacts her identity as a woman. In “The Awakening,” Edna’s transition from her old home to the new one is depicted. The effects of this are portrayed beautifully: “It was the color of her skin, without the glow, the myriad living tints that one may sometimes discover in vibrant flesh. There was something in her attitude, in her whole appearance when she leaned her head against the high-backed chair and spread her arms, which suggested the regal woman, the one who rules, who looks on, who stands alone (89).” As Edna enters this new home and lifestyle, she learns to start her freedom from the social constraints that were constantly imposed on her. Not only is Edna leaving the restrictions that her husband placed on her as a mother and a wife, but she is
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