Stay Afloat to Pass the Test

There are multiple motifs present in The Flood, but the two that overpower the rest are a test and water. In the beginning of this story, God explains to Noah that violence has lead to a corrupt world. Due to this corruption, God decides that he will destroy all the flesh and violence that is a result of this flesh. He explains to Noah that he will make it rain for forty days and forty nights until every living substance on the face of the earth is destroyed. God commands Noah to make an ark out of gopher wood and to bring his wife, his sons and their wives, and two of every sort of flesh, one female and one male. Noah obeys every command that God gives him and this pays off, as the waters didn’t dry up from off the earth until 601 years after the rain began. Every living thing on the earth was destroyed and everything on the ark survived the flood. God then tells Noah and his sons, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” This was an important test presented to Noah because had he not listened to God, him and everything else on earth would be gone. Water also plays a large role in this story because it is a significant part of the test. Without the flood, there would have been no test and the world wouldn’thave been ridded of all its corruption and violence.

The raft that Huck and Jim live on in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn creates a strong tie between the two stories. The main reason this connection is so noticeable is because both the motifs of a test and water are very alive in this novel. The test that is presented to Huck in this novel is whether he will stay loyal to his friend Jim or fall back into the norms of society. He has the choice of technically stealing Miss Watson’s property by helping Jim escape or he can let Miss Watson know of Jim’s whereabouts. Despite the huge possibility of consequences, he decides to stay true to his heart and help a fellow friend out. This demonstrates how Huck passed the test because instead of falling into the crowd and going along with slavery, he is unique and stays true to his beliefs. This is similar to the test that Noah is presented because he can either stay true to his beliefs and obey God’s commands or remain in the crowd with the rest of the world. He also has to go through all the trouble to build the ark and round up all the different animals, which is the risk he is taking when he trusted God. Similarly, Noah gets the reward of living and getting the chance to replenish the world just like Huck receives his reward to travel out west. Water is also a very evident motif in this story because Huck and Jim have to build their raft to travel down the river. In both of the stories it is a requirement to build some sort of structure to stay afloat on the water. Noah uses the ark to evade the flood and the raft is used as an escape device from slavery. Water also plays a large role in both stories because it provides an obstacle that must somehow be avoided to help pass the test.

noah's ark       raft

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This entry was posted in AP Mindset, Art, Biblical Allusions, Honors English III, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

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