How Does Twain Present Jim's Relationship In Huckleberry Finn

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Huck Finn is a racist little boy, with a big hatred for being civilized. Being raised by Miss. Watson, Huck was always being taught how to properly act, and had pro-slavery and racist ideals pressed upon him. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck floats down the Mississippi River, with Miss. Watson’s escaped slave Jim. Huck and Jim form a relationship with Jim as they float on their raft to freedom. Huck’s relationship with Jim evolves throughout the book, although his racism does not. Through situations in the book, Twain suggests that biased upbringings take precedence over relationships. At the beginning of the book, Huck generalizes Jim and sees him as another slave, but as the book continues Huck begins to see Jim …show more content…

When Huck and Jim’s relationship is first forming Huck sees all slaves as foolish and superstitious, and Jim is no exception. In one of the first chapters, Huck wants to know if his abusive and alcoholic father, Pap, will becoming back to town soon after disappearing. He turns to Jim, and Jim’s hairball that gives Jim answers, to find out about Pap. Huck sees Jim as incredibly foolish because of the hairball. The first several chapters where Huck sees Jim as superstitious and is always trying to prank Jim, are in sharp contrast to the rest of the book where Huck and Jim’s relationship is much more developed. Once Huck and Jim have started to float down the river, their relationship starts to evolve. At one point, Huck lied to Jim about being separated and told Jim that them being separated and Jim trying to find Huck was a only a dream. Jim then gets very mad at Huck and afterwards Huck feels bad and knew he had to apologize. It was hard for Huck to “humble” himself to someone who is seen as below him in society. After Huck apologizes he says he will not “do [Jim] no more mean tricks,” and that he “wouldn’t done that one if [he’d] ‘a’ knowed it would make him feel that way” (Twain, 86). This …show more content…

Twain shows that people often act on their upbringing over their relationships through Huck’s racism towards not only Jim, but all slaves throughout the book. When Huck starts to trust Jim, he would still return to using racist language towards Jim when he is put back into society showing that people will act on what their upbringing taught them, over what their relationships have taught them. Right after Huck decides to not tell Miss. Watson where Jim is and “steal him out of slavery” (Twain, 217) and Huck is finally seeing Jim as a friend, he suddenly regresses in the way he talks about Jim. After talking to a boy if he’s seen “a strange nigger” (Twain, 214), and continues to refer to Jim like that because after being out on the river for so long, Huck had been isolated from society. After being thrown back into society, Huck is acting on his racist upbringings suddenly because that is how he would usually act in society. Despite his relationship with Jim, and how kind they have been to each other, Huck ignores all that and acts the way he used to. The way Huck acts in society shows that even though Huck has a strong relationship with a slave, he is still incredibly racist. At the very end of the story, when Jim is sacrificing his own safety so a doctor can come a fix Tom’s leg because it was shot, Huck notices

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