Lucas Venette Miss Glass English III Honors February 28, 2018 Jim: More Than a Slave Everyone wants a father figure, but the person who takes on the role of being a father is not always who is expected. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jim, an African American slave, is a father figure to Huck, a young white boy. Jim acts as a father by protecting Huck from dangers and risks during their journey. Jim is also a father to Huck by teaching him lessons about right and wrong.
Along with the way that Huck treated Jim, Twain made him sound like an unintelligent thing, not a human being but just a thing. There were many problems that Jim faced with Huck and one is specifically pointed out as the reason The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was a racist tale and not one that started to show racial tolerance. During the escape of Jim from Aunt Sally’s house Huck devises a simple plan to get Jim out of the barn safely But then Tom comes along and makes the plan much more complicated and insanely dangerous for Jim. Huck instead of stopping Tom from doing this plan asks him why they should do a complicated plan that might hurt Jim and then decides to revert back to his old self and toy with Jim. After all the morale improvements that Huck has made in the end Jim is still being toyed with instead of treated like the free human being he was.
Although he considers turning Jim in and struggles against the constant thought because society would get angry “that Huck Finn helped a nigger to get his freedom” and he would be condemned “to everlasting fire” , we see a person able to defeat mainstream conventions and strive for what he as an individual believes stands as truly right (HF. Chp 31). Smiley claims that the story is only “lighting out for the territory" for racism, but without first convincing the majority of people to judge people by their value rather than what
He would not ever get the treatment Huck did, and Jim’s character was never allowed to grow. Smiley catches the audience’s attention as she recognizes the racist remarks that Twain uses through his character, Huck, and how he forms Jim’s character. Smiley says that, through the book, Twain creates Jim “more and more passive and never minds, just like any good sidekick” (Smiley 460). As Huck and Jim never cross the Mississippi to Illinois, a free state, Jim just stands in Huck’s shadows as he is along for the journey, never getting his own voice in the book to stand up for himself and his freedom.
Everybody has someone in his or her life who teaches him or her how to be a better person. Throughout the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses Jim, a slave, as a source of symbolism for Huck’s maturity. First, Jim teaches Huck about what it truly means to be civilized. Next, Jim shows Huck about the value of family. Lastly, Jim teaches Huck about racial inequality and how to accept people.
Similarities To Huck Finn Throughout life people struggle to find their true self, and following social order. In the novel The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn the characters Jim and Huck have an issue with following social order and struggling to survive on the run to freedom. With similarity from other sources such as the movie Catch me If You Can and the poem “We wear the Mask”. These sources all share similarity to Mark Twain’s novel.
This is the climax of the novel, in which many of the underlying themes are made clear. Huck’s morals overcome his fear for punishment, and he is determined to help Jim even if he has to go to hell for it. Furthermore, Jim is a runaway slave, and in the context of the story, helping a runaway slave, albeit one that was sold and has a new owner, would be almost traitorous to Huck’s community. Another revelation is that Huck has transcended the racial constructs of the time, recognizing Jim’s humanity and considering him someone worth rescuing at great personal risk. In this scene, Huck finally breaks the restraints of society, and indeed, his environment, by ignoring all societal and theological constructs and instead choosing what is right by his conscience.
Symbolism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn John Green states, “ one of the reasons that metaphor and symbolism are important in books is because they are so important to life. Like, for example say you’re in high school and you’re a boy and you say to a girl: ‘Do you like anyone right now?’- that’s not the question you’re asking. The question you’re asking is, ‘Do you like me?’” This quote is significant to Mark Twain’s novel, Huckleberry Finn because Twain uses many examples of symbolism through settings.
The dramatic situations Huck and Jim share create trust, which strengthens their relationship despite society's view on black people. The juxtaposition of society and Hucks morals are put to test during the scene when Jim and Huck get separated due to fog. Huck believes it is a good idea to lie to Jim and tell him that's it was all a dream. Jim becomes angry at Huck, not for lying, but for not understanding the consequences of his actions. Huck was truly remorseful, and against society, he was willing to apologize to Jim, even though he was a black man.
Along with meeting so-called “civilized” society, Huck’s experience with the King and the Duke causes Huck to go against society’s narrow-minded beliefs. In an effort for the King and the Duke to get some cash, they sold Nigger Jim to Silas Phelps’ farm. After Jim was sold for forty dollars, Huck determines what happened to him. Nonetheless, while saving Jim, Huckleberry begins to meet conflicts about society, freedom, and religion. He starts to contemplate his motives and figure out whether saving Jim is the correct thing to do.
So, when Huck picks up Jim, a recently escaped slave, and heads up the Mississippi River, he gets nervous when Jim begins to talk about how he will soon be free and plans to buy, or even steal, his wife and children. This was during a time where Huck would be committing a crime by helping a slave escape. He has a difficult time deciding to be loyal to his friend and let Jim continue up the rest of the way up north so that he can be freed, or to turn Jim in as an escaped slave. Huck fears getting in trouble, but he also is very torn because of the relationship that he now has with Jim. Huck’s askew sense of sympathy and morality are conflicting each other.
After Huck finds out that Jim is captive, Huck “set down and cried. [He] couldn’t help it” (210). After returning to the raft and not finding Jim there, Huck is overcome with emotion. The fear of Jim not being around causes Huck to realize how important Jim is to him. The friendship they developed on the river and through their adventure causes Huck to be more concerned for Jim’s safety than society’s need to keep Jim captive.
Huck has been burned with the idea that he is to blame for Jim’s escape. Huck ultimately feels guilty because he knows he has not done wrong but he has no reason not to believe what society thinks because he was only taught one way. Huck imagines an alternate scenario, thinking “s’pose [he]’d’ a’ done right and give Jim up, would [he] felt better... No…[he'd] feel bad” (91). Huck is aware that the right decision based on society is to give up Jim.
No matter what happened, Jim was always there for Huck, and Huck was always there for Jim. Even though in the beginning of the novel Huck started questioning what he was doing. Jim showed Huck that you don’t have to be the same skin color or ethnicity, or anything to be friends and care about one
Naturally, as his bond with Jim cultivates, Huck unknowingly treats him as a human. Through Huck’s sensibility, he states, “It didn’t take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn’t no kings nor dukes at all … I hadn’t no objections, ‘long as it would keep peace in the family; and it warn’t no use to tell Jim, so I didn’t tell him” (Twain 125). Correspondingly, Huck gains a consideration for Jim and his personal feelings, which he expresses nonchalantly through motley aspects of their journey.