In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain, the author, displays the differences of society’s corrupt views and human morality. When Huck and Jim are on the river rather than the land, Huck gets a better understanding of flaws in the way people are treating blacks like Jim. They both neglect the usual treatments of their society and are outcasts on a quest for freedom from the community they live in. The river and land are comparable by aspects of racism and freedom.
First, on land, the community Huck and Jim lived in exemplifies racism and owns slaves. Jim is able to escape the racism when traveling with Huck on the river. Although growing up in a racist community Huck is often unsure if his treatment of Jim is proper. Huck morally feels compelled to treat Jim with respect even if it means “he is going to hell” (pg 228). Racism is left behind on the river and Jim is free of it.
Nature and peace surrounds Jim on the river instead of the fear and distress he endured on land. The land differs as their enemy and the river is their friend. Not only is racism a problem on land but also both their freedoms are at stake.
Last, freedom is the biggest essential Huck and Jim set out on the river in seek. Both of the two were held prisoner by their community. Huck was being forced into the custody of a guardian and Jim was a slave.
When they were on land the two received unfair treatment and little to no freedom at all. When Huck finds himself in trouble, Jim is willing to give up his own freedom to save Huck’s freedom because he knows how important freedom is to a human. “I never see a nigger that was a better nuss or faithfuller, and yet he was resking his freedom to do it…He ain’t no bad nigger, gentlemen; that’s what I think about him”(pg 285).
Saying this, Huck is expressing his respect for Jim because doing something as honorable as giving up your freedom for another is highly chivalrous. When on the river the two have freedom from their old lives and society but on the land they are captive to racism, slavery and abuse.
The river and the land are compared through unfair treatment and Huck and Jim’s imprisonment. The river is seen as a haven where the land is seen as corrupt. The racism Jim faced continues as a problem even in our world today. Countries give their people some freedoms or none at all. We must all avoid the land and look for the river in our lives. Society will always have these problems and Twain makes it very clear through when we compare the land and the river.