The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Throughout the story, what does the river represent? The towns? In the last paragragh of the novel,where does Huck say is preferable? What is Twain's purpose for this?

Chapters 40 -

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THe river is a journey. It is a "vehicle" for change. Huck matures through the natural environment. The towns they see and people they meet serve to develop Huck into a mature young man. The hypocrisy and twisted nature of Southern white society help Huck appreciate Jim even more. Huck develops a changing sense of identity both for himself and the world around him.