The novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was written by Samuel Clemens, also known by his pen name Mark Twain. This novel is about a young boy named Huckleberry Finn who narrates his journey along the Mississippi River. Huck meets many characters along the way and his relationships with each individual character are very unique. However, the relationship he has with Jim, the runaway slave, is ever changing. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain embellishes the bond formed between Huck and Jim and how Huck views Jim as a slave, friend, and father-figure.
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.
Throughout their journey, Huck is aware that Jim has escaped but does not know whether or not to turn him into the authorities. Huck’s mentality about society matures and he realizes his need to protect Jim from dangers. As the novel progresses, Huck begins to realize the flaws in society. Huck ultimately chooses to follow his own
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.
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.
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.
Individuals often say that the right way may not necessarily be the popular way, but standing up for the right thing, despite it being frowned upon, will be the true test of one’s moral character. This relates to the moral growth that Huck Finn experiences throughout his journey. Mark Twain’s controversial novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, can be said to be a compelling story about how one individual, Huck Finn, goes against society’s ideals. Huck’s moral development can be said to be based primarily on those around him, especially Jim. Many instances also influence Huck’s morals, particularly during the raft journey that will change his beliefs and morals. Although there are numerous instances where Huck’s moral growth can be seen, the individuals around such as Jim, will influence his moral growth greatly.
All along his society and upbringings have told him that slavery is rift and stealing is wrong. Huck begins to love Jim because he taught him how to be a better human being, and they soon become inseparable. Huck finally views him or as a slave but equal to everyone else in
Smiley says that throughout the entire story “Twain really saw Jim as no more than Huck’s sidekick”, as "Jim is never autonomous never has a vote, always finds his purposes subordinate to Huck's, and, like every good sidekick, he never minds” (Smiley). Yet, we see in Huck’s moral dilemma, how he understands how great and amazing of a person that Jim is when they were “floating along talking, and singing, and laughing”, that he finally defeats the concept of Jim being just a ‘sidekick’ or a slave (HF. Chp 31). Huck truly sees Jim as his equal when he commits his entirety to saving Jim, getting mad that to society, Jim amounted only to “forty dirty dollars” (HF. Chp 31).
Judging someone for their race, ethnicity, or skin color is never portrayed as the right thing to do. However, these are some of the main themes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This was taken place before the Civil War, when slavery was still legal. When Huck Finn and Jim meet, even though Jim is a slave, they connect immediately. Their friendship grows stronger and stronger as the novel continues, it got to the point where Jim was not only a friend, but a father figure to Huck. There was a couple of times where Huck realized that what he was doing was not only wrong, but illegal, and wondered if he should do the right thing, but decided against it. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck sees Jim as a slave, friend, and a father
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
In Chapter 16, when Huck sees Jim’s reaction to being near freedom, Huck describes his feeling as, “miserable”, “abusing”, “scorched”, and “die”. Although Jim is happy to face his future, Huck becomes burdened by societal beliefs and more importantly, his own moral values. For Huck, bestowing freedom to a slave is shameful and unethical; no different from one’s “property”. This also implies that Huck values the societies view more than his relationship with Jim. Later on, Huck’s view of the past changes as he separates his own conscience from the societal values.
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.