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Twain's use of imagery is meant to enable the reader to become a part of the journey. Huck has always felt that traveling the river makes one feel, "mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft." Their travels have been a source of enjoyment. Twain's descriptive language at the beginning of the chapter allows us to share the way Huck feels while they're floating down the river. His language effects all five senses in the way we can feel, hear, smell, and even taste the air where Huck is traveling. But the further they go, the more air is filled with foreboding; the sense of freedom begins to disappear. Twain's intent is fulfilled because we can FEEL what is happening because of the imagery he's presented us with.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn