Character Analysis: Jim's Minstrel Mask

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Jim’s Minstrel Mask Slaves in the 1800s were seen as dim, ignorant people, underestimated by the white culture. In Huck’s story, the reader can see a different side of slaves. A side that has not been shown in history textbooks, or taught frequently by teachers of the sort. Jim in the novel demonstrates the cleverness, the quick-wittedness, and the overall intelligence of an individual in the face of extreme adversity. The minstrel mask is what covers the world from seeing Jim’s humanity. Jim uses his minstrel mask to hide his true nature, to allow himself to be underestimated, and be able to accomplish what he needs to be done. In the beginning of the novel, one of the first encounters with his minstrel mask is shown when Huck gets onto the same island runaway Jim…show more content…
Jim tells Huck he hit her for not listening to get to work, but he then finds out she has been recently made dea when she did not react to the door slamming shut from the wind. He realizes he hit her when she never even heard Jim to begin with. Jim was so distraught begging for forgiveness from the Lord and his daughter, because he would never forgive himself for his mistake. This shows Jim’s deep rooted connection with love of others and his humanity. Not only that, but Huck realizes he cares deeply for his family and is capable of emotions that otherwise racist ideologies have told him are not possible. Huck now believes that this cannot be the case since he sees Jim having strong familial ties with his own eyes. This example of Jim’s release of the minstrel mask makes Huck gain a higher opinion of him. In chapter 31, with Huck and his letter, he stops to remember that night on the raft when he almost gave Jim away. Jim’s use of his minstrel mask made a lasting impression on Huck because he remembers those words Jim said to him, how grateful he was for Huck to save him, and how he’s his only friend in the
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