Why do you think Mark Twain ends Huck’s narrative the way he does, with Huck planning to “light out for the [Western] Territories”? Is Huck embodying the concept of the lone individual leaving civilization behind and venturing out into the unknown? Or is this just Huck practicing freedom of imagination? Discuss whether either explanation corresponds to part of the American experience.
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The ending appears to leave Huck almost exactly where he started. However, Huck has changed significantly during the course of his travels. Huck's comment that he needs to head west before they try to civilize is significant, because we know that Huck can act civilized when he needs to, as he survived well in his many extended stays at Southern family estates. In the beginning of the novel, Huck is a poor, simple, uneducated boy. However, by the conclusion of novel, Huck is a crafty, intelligent, wealthy young man who simply does not care to be a part of a boring middle-class lifestyle. Huck changes profoundly in the course of this novel, struggles with powerful moral issues, risks his life for those he cares about, and thrives in the process.