Huckleberry Finn, Epic Hero

17 Sep

Huckleberry Finn fits many of the characteristics of an epic hero. He takes off on a quest for something of great value, faces villains who try to keep him from his quest,  and was born a human birth therefore possesses human weaknesses.On the other hand Huck also does not fit a few of the characteristics of an epic hero. He is just a boy not a larger than life hero representing a society or its beliefs. Also just being a young naive boy he is not superhuman nor smarter or more clever than an everyday person.Overall Hucks journey does represent that of an epic and the challenges he must overcome make him in most eyes an epic hero.

Huck’s journey starts off due to an abusive father who is only looking over Huck for the money that he has came into. His father possesses greed and selfishness making him one of the so called villains hindering him. His journey consists of him all by himself and an escaped slave making thier way down the river on a makeshift raft. If looking at Huckleberry finn from a religious point of view Jim, the escaped slave, could be seen as the divine world or gods watching over Huck making sure he completes journey safely. Huck does use his ability to be clever as an epic hero must do and was able to fake his own death to escape his abusive father. Without his ability to use his imagination and think of little clever things throughout his journey him making it back home would of been an inevitability. The Duke and the king could be seen as the antagonist of the story making them the villains of the story. They are jerks and thieves and almost leave Huck and Jim stranded forcing Huck to once again think of a way to save themselves.

Huck is certainly portrayed as a brave and cunning boy. No one else of his age would dare think of taking off on an adventure of this stature. His ability to survive and adapt does make what he did a bit superhuman for a boy of his time, although most of what he does is not impossible. Yet for a young boy to make it down a huge river with only the help of slave does make him a bit superhuman and make his journey comparable to that of Odysseus’s.

The last Characteristic of an epic hero that Huck fits is also one of the most important, he returns home a from his journey changed. From the beginning Huck is seen as a young immature boy who just likes to use his imagination, but when he returns to his aunts its a totally different story. In the end Huck is portrayed much more intelligent and smarter in the ways of the world. He seems as though he is not scared of anything. His morals are even changed from his journey making his beliefs in what is right and wrong change. In the end Huck is finally not all alone and will finally have someone their for him, making his life a complete difference from the one that he started with.From all this its easy to see all the different reasons how Huckleberry Finn fits that of an epic and how he himself is an epic hero.

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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Epic Heroes



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