Jeremy KeeshinIt is natural for youth to reject society. This rejection is blatantly evident in today’sculture of gangs and drugs and dismissing authority. This is a necessary step in maturing thathelps teens and young people in general find their identity. They say high school is a time for experimentation, and this is because teens need to circulate through different groups andactivities to find to which they belong. Rebellion in youth searching for their identity has existedthroughout the ages. In his novel
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
, Mark Twain highlightsthe struggle of the search for identity in youth.
The title character, Huckleberry Finn, does nothave an identity and this leads him to rebel against society. Huck’s rebellion exacerbateshis lack of identity, and his struggle and failure to find his identity is integral to himestablishing his own needs so that he can integrate into society.Huckleberry Finn does not have an identity because he fails to establish his life inone place and is incapable of being sure of his own ideas.
Huck’s life is characterized by lifeon the move; right from the onset of the novel he cannot seem to settle down his life permanently. He starts off with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, then ends up with hisfather, then goes on the lam with Jim, then goes and stays with the Grangerfords. After that,Huck finds himself traveling in the company of the duke and the king, and then they end upresiding with the Wilks family. After Jim is sold, Huck arrives at the Phelps farm, where he pretends to be Tom Sawyer, until he is caught at the end. Huck’s movements between locationsare significant because they reveal that he has not found a place where he fits in, and this causeshim to keep moving. His lack of a place to stay reveals that he does not have an identity, and isnot sure of what to do with himself. Early in the novel the Widow Douglas realizes Tom ismisplaced in the eyes of society when she calls him a “poor lost lamb” (32). Huck realizes thathe too is misplaced, but cannot identify a solution. He says, “All I wanted was to go