Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn many characters express their own brands of faith. Whether it is the Grangerfords??™ typical church going Christianity, Jim??™s wild superstitious beliefs, Tom Sawyers loving belief in himself, or even Pap??™s faith in the bottle, everyone finds a way to show their own unique style of religion. Huck Finn though he does not appear to know it, is one of the most religious characters in the novel devoting himself to the Mississippi river rather than a man like deity.
Religious people often turn to their faith in times of trouble, praying in order to focus their thoughts and bring themselves closer to the answers they seek along with an illumination of which path they should take. Huck uses his deity in much the same way. When he decides to flee from Pap he escapes onto the river, which offers him shelter as well as a way to avoid being tracked, while also leading him to the answers he needs in the form of Jackson??™s Island and more importantly Jim. Many times during the rest of the novel Huck and Jim make forays onto land only to return to the river when the realization is made that life off the river is far too complicated, much like a man coming back to God and the sought after innocence of faith after realizing he has been going astray.
To have faith in anything takes trust and nothing trusts quite like innocence. Huck shows great cunning beyond his years when backed into the many corners he finds himself trapped in, but out on the river Huck shows his faith through his innocence. Huck and Jim spend most of their time out on open water in the nude, which seems to disturb some at first. Upon closer inspection however it becomes apparent that this is just another part of Huck??™s religion. The river in some ways plays the role of a sort of Garden of Eden, allowing Huck to worship and be completely free at the same time in a state of total innocence though at the same time never forgetting to keep an eye out for the river??™s fickle moods.
Every religion has tales of the faithful attempting to deal with the sudden fury of their god. Often only the truly faithful are left after such a fit of rage. Huck proves to be a true master of his religion as the river??™s fury seems to refuse to destroy him. In most cases it seems to protect him either by ridding the world of those who wish to harm him or by teaching him a lesson. The first is the flood that brings the house down river in reach of Huck and Jim, which not only gives them the supplies they need to continue on, but also rids them of Pap who was Huck??™s most dangerous enemy. At another dangerous time on the river it decides to claim a group of unfortunate robbers instead of Huck and Jim. The most important event caused by the river??™s ever changing moods being his separation from Jim. Huck??™s cruel practical joke shows the reader, as well as Huck, the scope of the relationship that has developed between the two. The reason these events are important is that in order to define a man as religious one must look not only at which characteristics of a religious man the subject in question matches but also how the characteristics of a religion match him.
Huck shows his faith for the river through his familiarity and love for it. Huck has come as close to mastering the river as a man can come. Huck would not want to fully master the river; he sees it as a beautiful thing. Huck shows he is capable of using just about every type of boat used on the river, just like a man knowing his bible verses. Through many different methods both Huck and the river itself show that Huck Finn is very religious individual, and is possibly the most religious out of all the other characters. While some may mention their beliefs in passing Huck stays with his god throughout most of the novel, worshipping his deity in a way that only one who truly loves the river can understand.