“Not a day’s work in all my life. What I have done, I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn’t have done it…When we talk about the great workers of the world we really mean the great players of the world.” -Mark Twain
As this quote shows, games were a very important part of life to Mark Twain. This would help explain why games are such an important part in most of his works, one of which is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He uses these games to symbolize many different things from maturity to the quest for knowledge, opening new views to what could have been a simple novel. This importance of games reflects that of our lives, when we must play the game of life as we learn, lose, and win. This is the reason that Mark Twain uses the various games such as tricks, disguises, superstitions, and fantasies to parallel Huckleberry Finn’s maturation and his education in life in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
The novel is broken up into three main stages exemplifying Huck’s maturation through the games he encounters. In the first stage, the novel parallels childhood and recklessness with games. Most obviously, Huck plays “games” with th
8221; From this incident Huck learns that his games have consequences and that he must learn the difference between brutal jokes that ridicule a man8217;s humanity and meaningless teasing. They also swindle the Wilks girls into giving them their brother8217;s inheritance, posing as his benefiting brothers in the will. 8220;Trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er day fren8217;s en makes 8216;em ashamed. The first of these games is that which occurs when Huck finds Jim on Jackson Island. In another game related lesson on the river, Tom becomes the cheater in the game of his journey. Although Jim could retaliate, the boys are only children and they are regarded as harmless. When Huck sees the dead body of Buck Grangerford, he realizes the horror of this deadly game the adults play. This game the adults play for a reason none of them remember threatens the lives of all who are involved. When the town sends a boat down the river to find his corpse, he evades it, as if in a game of tag. The second section of the novel parallels Huck8217;s education and coming to terms with reality with games he encounters after his escape and along the river. Waterson, his keeper with various tricks and antics. When Huck places Jim8217;s hat on a limb causing Jim to believe witches have ridden it, Huck sees the idea as ridiculous and as a game. The Duke and Dauphin also play other tricks on innocent people. All of these points together come to a conclusion that Huck is only a child and that these games represent the carefree nature of childhood. From the very beginning of the novel, Huck terrorizes Ms.