In Huck Finn, Huck and his companions travel through the Mississippi river and are able to experience free will. Their voyage through the expansive body of water has multiple meanings, as the river embodies the growth of the young and impressionable product of society- Huck.
Prior to his adventures in the river, Huck led an almost normal childhood. Like other children, he grew in a cruel, racist society, where the belief that the white race was superior to others, particularly Blacks, was commonplace. Huck was also the son of an abusive, alcoholic father. It was from this dejecting experience that Huck gathered strength and became an unusually mature and independent young individual. Once he settled for life in the river, his maturity made him open to knowledge and realizations that would, otherwise, be beyond the scope of somebody his age.
The river, which is always flowing, symbolizes the flow of time.
As people get older, they also become wiser. Huck, through the experiences with his companions on the river, learns about the flaws in his society from firsthand experiences, most importantly he breaks the preconceived notions regarding Blacks. Jim, the runaway slave, shows him that Blacks are just as human as whites, forever breaking the stigma instilled by white society. After playing a cruel joke on Jim, Huck realized that Jim was actually hurt after the latter said, "When I got all wore out wid work, en wid de callin' for you, en went to sleep, my heart wuz mos' broke bekase you wuz los', en I didn' k'yer no' mo' what become er me en de raf'. En when I wake up en fine you back agin, all safe en soun', de tears come, en I could a got down on my knees en kiss yo' foot, I's...