The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

He Came Home (Or a Poor Man’s Nostos) 11th Grade

Nostos is a theme in Greek Literature where an epic hero returns home from sea after shipwrecks, adventures, and trials. When the hero returns home, the hardest part is retaining their identity. While Huck is not an epic greek hero, he does return home after his adventures on the river, and retains not just his name, but his true identity. The ending of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (henceforth referred to as Huckleberry Finn) is quite controversial in regards to racism, and has been noted as similar to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Many have questioned why Mark Twain made the stylistic and artistic choices that have lead to the controversy. In the view of this essay, the ending is crafted in a similar manner as Twain’s previously written novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, not to propel a racist way of thinking, but to return both Huck to his original state. In addition, Huckleberry Finn’s controversial ending overcomes racism by showing how even Huck knew that, as Jim was now free, his quest was complete. Tom’s childish behavior had no meaning to him, as freeing Jim was the only goal on the adventure worth accomplishing.

In order to prove that Huck returns to his original state, one must first identify what that...

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