In Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, he utilized diction to illustrate the change in Huck’s view on slavery and more specifically, Jim; from believing that all slaves are subhuman and ignorant to befriending and respecting Jim as his equal. Incidentally, one way that Twain used diction to highlight such change in Huck was in his choice and usage of the word “n*****”. Considering this, in Chapter 16, Huck habitually uses the n-word to refer to Jim rather than calling him by his name. Huck also utilizes phrases such as , “Give a n***** an inch and he’ll take an ell.” when attempting to characterize Jim’s behavior. By using the n-word, Huck identifies Jim as part a generalized category of people who are perceived as universally …show more content…
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. This is seen in chapter 31, when Huck reflects on his journey as “good”, “laughing”, and “best”. Despite conflicting with societal values, Huck was able to enjoy Jim’s companionship. This is a direct result of him starting to believe that Jim is his equivalent and is worthy of being his friend. By referring to slaves as “n*****” and other derogatory dictions earlier in the novel, then calling Jim “white” and using joyful dictions, Twain highlights Huck’s shift in view from the typical societal view that slaves are “properties” to his own belief that people are not inherently
Huck starts to seriously consider turning Jim in. While he does not believe in slavery, he is deeply disturbed by the idea of Jim stealing his children away from their owner. Despite the paternal bond between Jim and his children, Huck does not believe he should have the right to them, since they are owned by someone else. Huck literally states that he thinks lower of Jim for this, saying, “I was sorry to hear Jim say that, it was such a lowering of him,” (Twain). This is ironic, since Huck’s father was given rights to him purely based on blood but he believes Jim should not be allowed custody of his children based purely off of his social standing.
In this very moment, Jim (a “nigger”) becomes a better father figure for Huck than his real father, who was a white man. Jim is better than almost any other person within the story, and he is a black man. However, Twain did use racial stereotypes in the story quite a bit (Chadwick). For example when he and Huck are
Huck signified that they were not after just Jim but him as well. This few words were able to have such a impact on the story and on Huck’s character in the book. Huck throughout the book starts to see Jim not only as a friend, but as an equal. With the fact that Jim has been seen by everyone else and called by everyone else, the “n-word”, this piece not only reflects the amount of respect that Huck is starting to see with Jim, but is also establishing the fact that he sees himself as an equal to a “n-word”.
We know that Twain is not racist, but he did use the N-word to show what kind of people his characters were. Delila Lloyd wrote a document that addresses both sides of the issue, but one of the points that sticks out is "Take the N-word out of Huck Finn, and is it really Huck Finn?" (Lloyd). Huck uses the N-word because he grew up in a society where the word was meaningless, and was used to describe slaves as scum. The word practically means nothing, but not as in the word doesn't have a meaning, but in the sense that the people described as the word are meaningless.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn subverts racist beliefs through the development of Huck’s friendship with Jim and through Twain's satirization of the KKK. Mark Twain subverts racism through the development of Huck and Jims friendship in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The two form such a close friendship, leading to a father son bond. In the novel, Huck enjoys spending time with Jim; he comments how “‘This is nice,’ I says. ‘I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else but here’”
To some the “N” word gets in the way of the story’s powerful message against slavery. To others, Twains simply capturing the way people use to talk back then. I for one, think that schools should keep the book with the “N” word. For this reason, to stay true to Twain’s words is this. We’ve been reading “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “Tom Sawyer” for a long period of time and it hasn’t stopped us from passing political rights, law giving, ending discrimination in public schools, passing the Voting Rights Act, engaging in multicultural relations, or electing nonwhite governmental administrators, including our current president.
Jim teaches Huck that others will judge solely based on skin color. Twain shows this by saying, "The ni***r run off the very night Huck Finn was killed. So there's a reward out for him - three hundred dollars" (Twain 67). This quotation is showing how the people are quick to assume that just because they both coincidentally went missing around the same time that Jim was the one to "kill" Huck. Throughout the novel, Twain includes the word “ni***r.”
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. Jim, a runaway slave, is the most influential individual when it comes to Huck’s moral development. During the beginning of the novel, Huck’s morals are primarily based on what he has learned from Miss Watson. Huck begins to become wary of such ideals that Miss Watson has imposed on him, and decided all he wanted “…was a change” (Twain 10).
Huck decides to act on his morals rather than be held captive by society; Huck believes that he has to act in the best interest of Jim and does not consider what society believes is acceptable behavior. By stating that he will “go to hell,” Huck reiterates what he promises Jim in the beginning- that he rather be a “low down abolitionist”; these statements combined supports his feelings to protect Jim from society. When Huck and Tom get back to the house, Huck states, “...it don’t make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person’s conscience ain’t got no
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.
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
This transition is the result of the extended period of time that the two spend together, which allows Huck to look past the differences that he has been taught to observe for his entire life and view Jim for what he is; a fellow man. By the end of this passage, Huck’s resolve to do right by Jim is so strong that he is willing to suffer eternal damnation rather than betray Jim. Perhaps Huck’s most important statement in this passage is “Alright then, I’ll go to hell”; here he decides he’s willing to go to hell for eternity rather than causing Jim to return to his life as a slave. At first Huck just thought of Jim the property of another person, a good to be bought and sold regardless of any evidence that he was a human being. As they travel together, this viewpoint is gradually weakened by examples of Jim’s humanity, culminating in a model shift that goes against everything Huck has been taught about the societal status of a
Huck thinks about Miss Watson and how he is betraying her by helping Jim escape. Huck encounters slave catchers and he is internally whether to tell about Jim but decides not to and says, “They went and I got aboard the raft, feeling bad and low, because I knowed very well I had done wrong, and I see it warn’t no use for me to try to learn to do right; a body that don’t get started right when he’s little ain’t got no show -- when the pinch comes there ain’t nothing to back him up and keep him to his work, and so he gets beat” (Twain 102). Then later in the novel Jim is sold by some con men for $40 which upsets Huck and causes him to realize he cares about Jim and says, “All right, then I’ll GO to hell” (Twain 225). Huck is defying society’s laws by deciding to help captured Jim. Huck is maturing significantly because his perception of Jim has changed.
In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the reader gauges morality through the misadventures of Huck and Jim. Notably, Huck morally matures as his perspective on society evolves into a spectrum of right and wrong. Though he is still a child, his growth yields the previous notions of immaturity and innocence. Likewise, Mark Twain emphasizes compelling matters and issues in society, such as religion, racism, and greed. During the span of Huck’s journey, he evolves morally and ethically through his critique of societal normalities.
The portrayal of Jim has been criticized by many as rude and comical; however, these criticisms only examine his face value. Jim, despite his status as the butt of many jokes, proves to be an intelligent, morally grounded friend and father figure to Huck. Jim, unlike Col. Grangerford, is not gilded, but golden. The content of Jim’s words draws sharp contrast to his discombobulated speech.