Compare and Contrast Huck and Tom: Mark Twain, "Huckleberry Finn."

Essay by goalielax38High School, 10th gradeA+, November 2005

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Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" follows a young boy named Huck through his adventures down the Mississippi River. Through the adventures and obstacles he faces and overcomes with Jim, a loyal run-away slave, Huck changes and becomes more mature. He is no longer the careless, prank playing boy that ran around and had fun at other people's expense. Near the end of his life-changing journey down the Mississippi, Huck is reunited with his idol and close friend Tom Sawyer and these once very similar boys now have many obvious differences. Huck differs from Tom in his way of thinking, in his treatment and attitude towards Jim, and in his tendency to question his surroundings.

Huck sees and interprets the world realistically and in practical terms whereas Tom, a true romantic, believes the world operates like the stories in his books. A great example of their contrasting ways of thinking is in their differing approaches to rescue Jim from his imprisonment.

Huck plans to simply steal the key, get Jim out, run to the canoe, and escape down the river on the raft. Huck's plan to get Jim out of captivity is straightforward, simple, and effective. Tom, however, complains that "its too blame simple," and that "there ain't nothing to it"(224). Tom's plan is complicated and full of unnecessary additions because of his stubborn adherence to the romantic scenarios that he reads in his novels. Tom believes there is "honor in getting [Jim] out through a lot of difficulties and dangers,"(230) and he goes out of his way to invent obstacles to make the situation more difficult and more like the stories he grew up on. He unnecessarily invents hard rock to dig through, a tall tower to climb down from, an infested cell full of rats, spiders,