Huck Finn Or Nah Essay

1464 words - 6 pages

Mark Twain, a popular writer during the 19th century, used his elaborate writing skills and imagination to relate to people living in the south during that time period. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, originally published in 1885, provides indirect insight to the life of an African American slave referred to as Jim. As the young Huckleberry Finn attempts to help Jim escape to freedom they run into many obstacles. Considering the time period, I do believe that Jim is a stereotype therefore Marc Twain did not create a dynamic character. This is due to the fact that Jim lacks adequate literacy skills and is ignorant, he posses a childlike mindset resulting in him often being bullied or teased, his superstition is prominent, he’s repeatedly under minded and not considered in most decisions, and he’s treated like property or even an animal.
Jim’s lack of adequate literacy skills is demonstrated repeatedly throughout the book. When we are introduced to Jim on page 13 when Huck seeks help regarding his future it almost seems as if he’s speaking a different language saying “Yo’ ole father doan’ know, yit, what he’s agwyne to do. Sometimes he spec he’ll go’ way en den agin he spec he’ll stay.” Jim’s broken and amiss English is the biggest indicator of his lack of knowledge. Initially, when slaves were carried to the Americas they still spoke their native tongue, but overtime begin to catch on to English pronunciations, meaning, and sentences. Jim’s vocabulary is a result of him catching on. We can assume that he’s never attended school which is why his usage is awkward. This is a stereotype because black men during this time period and sometimes even now are considered to be ignorant. Jim is portrayed as possessing no intellect. This was probably the way majority of the slaves who’d never attended school talked. In addition to his improper grammar, he is also ignorant. In an argument that takes place between him and Huck that started over French and English, Huck attempts to use cows and cats to make his point. But, Jim disregards this by basically explaining since Frenchmen and Englishmen are both men they should speak the same language (Twain 60). Though this point is valid when arguing with someone who is also ignorant like Huck, it is incorrect. This instance resembles a scene from a Menstrual Show which was used as entertainment to portray black stereotypes such as in (Insert title and quote here). Twain was brainwashed by these shows and attempted to make a joke by incorporating something similar into his story.
(Smooth Transition) In chapter 38, as Tom Sayer plots Jim’s “escape” one of his not-so-bright ideas is for Jim to inscribe a Coat of Arms into grimestone. Jim, being ignorant as to what a coat of arms is says “Why, Mars Tom, I hain’t got no coat o’ arms; I hain’t got nuffin but dish-yer shirt, en you knows I got to keep de journal on dat.” When Jims receives the list of what to write the narrator of the story, Tom, says “ Jim said it...

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