Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Man and the Natural World Theme
Huck is like that hippie kid with questionable hygiene who can't stop talking about how he once hiked the Appalachian Trail. No walls, houses, beds, and chairs for this guy; he'd rather be living in filth down by the river and chilling with the squirrels. But to put a positive spin on it, Huck does turn out to be the only character in Huckleberry Finn who's able to make the right moral decision. Maybe there is something to be said for all that communing with nature.
Questions About Man and the Natural World
- Huck is Mr. Indecisive when it comes to, well, deciding things, namely whether he would prefer to eat with a napkin on his lap or hunt for fish with his bare hands. What does Huck really want? Does he want to be one with nature, or does he have a secret hankering to get "sivilized"?
- Huck spurns religion (sort of), but holds his reverence for the natural world. Look at those scenes where he describes the stars or the river and the lightning. Is this a kind of religion in itself? If not, what does the wilderness mean to Huck?
- Are there other characters who seem to have a special relationship to nature? What about Tom? Jim?
Chew on This
Huck may like being outside, but in the end he prefers the civilized world of family and home.
Although he doesn't mind the civilized world when he's there, Huck really belongs outdoors on the river.