Society makes Huck believe that that is correct, and that is all he believes, until he travels along the river with a slave whom he has befriended named Jim. Initially, Huck sees Jim as only a slave, but that relationship builds until the overriding relationship is achieved, in which Jim is a father-figure in the eyes of Huck. " The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" made history because of its promoting of white people viewing African Americans as equal to themselves, which wasn't common in that day and age. Overall, Huck's outweighing view of Jim is as a patriarch, a sort of dad he never got to
Huck has always seen Jim as a slave until they crossed paths while going down the river. The two develop a friendship and Huck starts to care about Jim and his well being. Although Huck views Jim as someone he cares about, he still sees him as a slave as well. “ I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write that nigger’s owner and tell where he was,” ( Document E). Huck is in a continuous battle with his inner self when it comes to his views on Jim.
Jim displays many father like characteristics towards Huck while on the river. Jim has a strong desire to keep Huck safe. During their trip Huck is approached by men who are searching for runaway slaves, and this makes him contemplate whether he should turn Jim in. Yet, Huck feels extremely guilty for even being curious on the topic and says, “S’pose you’d a done right and give Jim up; would you feel better than what you do now? No says I, I’d feel bad” (Twain 69).
Huck never had a good example of a father, so he seemed to find one in Jim. Jim would always ensure Huck’s safety before his own, and would stand watch over him at night to make certain that Huck was out of danger. Jim also taught Huck valuable lessons while they were together, just like how a normal father would teach a son. Jim taught Huck how to be cautious of his surroundings through his superstitious ways, which helped Huck stay safe in different situations. Huck also saw in Jim what he did not see in his father, compassion.
Huck knows he is Jim’s best friend as evidenced by when Huck said, “I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he’s got now”(Document E). This quote explains how Huck feels about Jim and how he realizes he’s his best, and only friend. Huck had become very close with Jim during their travels, and he feels not only as an equal with him, but is very good friends with him. Some readers believe that Huck views Jim as a father figure. To start, Huck did not have a very good father in his life, so it would make sense if he would look up to someone like Jim as a father figure.
Huck's ultimate maturation comes from him being able to see Jim as another human being. Being with Jim allows for Huck's practical mentality to evolve into something more. Huck always chooses the practical choice, what is easier. For example, Huck decides against praying because "Couldn't see no advantage about it - except for the other people - so at last I reckoned I wouldn't worry about it anymore, but just let it go" (Twain 19).
Huck, therefore, sees Jim as his friend and ignores society’s expectations to treat him less than human. After tearing up the letter he writes to Miss Watson, Huck “... studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: ‘All right, then, I’ll go to hell’” (214). Huck realizes that Jim is in need of assistance so he decides to do what is morally correct, which is to help Jim escape.
He wasn’t used to having a father figure in his life because his actual father was an alcoholic and was abusive. “Would always call me honey, and pet me, and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was,” (Document E). This shows that not only did Huck care about Jim, but Jim also cared about Huck’s well being, too. Having a father figure was very important to Huck because his actual father wasn’t really a father figure to him at all. Since someone actually cared about him and treated him with respect and care, it meant the world to him.
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.
Despite Huck’s constant teasing and mild abuse, Jim exhibits unconditional kindness towards Huck. Jim also proves to be a father figure, disciplining Huck and protecting him from seeing Pap dead in the floating house. He is not clueless and loving like a dog; in fact, Jim is one of the most intellectually and emotionally consistent and whole characters in the novel. Huck’s inability to express his care for Jim further reflects the stigmas held toward interracial relationships in the South and the flawed nature of the narrator, Huck. Jim and Huck’s existence on the raft provides a refuge from society, from the chains that bind Jim and separate him from Huck.
As Huck escapes from society by running away he had the chance of running into Jim on Jackson Island. During this time Huck displays his moral growth after playing a trick on Jim. Huck displays his moral growth because after placing a snake skin under Jim’s blanket, which eventually causes Jim to be bitten by a snake, he
trying to run away from all of his problems and in the process runs into an escaped slave, Jim. Instead of turning Jim in, Huck helps him on his journey to the north. During the book Huck grows from a immature boy to a more respectable young man. Huck begins to see how different people can be. Throughout the story Huck grows as a character and that is because of the people he meets along the way.
The Light of Friendship born on the Mississippi River Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the relationship between Huck and Jim are the main topic of the whole book. They all had their own personality and characteristics. The relationship between Huck and Jim changes as the story goes on. In the very beginning, it was clear that Huck considers Jim as a slave, on the other hand, Huck did not regard Jim as a normal human like himself.
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
(Twain 87-88). At this stage in the novel, it is important to denote his ambivalence toward the situation. Though he helps Jim, he feels a sense of guilt for going against societal standards. Regardless, Huck has a myriad of opportunities to turn Jim in--and doesn’t. This verifies that Huck progresses in developing his maturity and poise.