Metaphors in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” include slavery, which was a metaphor for injustice and social bondage, and the Mississippi River, which represents freedom. In the book, the river represented a way to escape from social injustice on a path to rebirth.
Even the characters that were used in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” were metaphors. For example, Huck is a metaphor for the average American frontiersman. Although he can be manipulative and shrewd at times, he is a realist above all else.
The raft that was used to sail down the Mississippi River symbolized a pure and simple world. On the other hand, the steamboat in the story symbolizes progress and change. The steamboat overpowers the raft, showing how change overpowers people's desires for things to remain pure and simple. The river, however, is vast and changing itself. It leads the raft toward change, whether the riders know it or want it.
Mark Twain wrote this book after slavery was abolished. However, the story painted the picture of a country that was still coming to grips with the aftermath of the end of slavery and the reconstruction that was still needed. The book also showed the hypocrisy of slavery. Even people who were seen as moral, such as Mrs. Phelps and Miss Watson, were still corrupt because they saw no disconnect between the ownership of slaves and religious values.