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Huckleberry Finn Essay

892 words - 4 pages

Jim is the Central Character? The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the best- loved novels in American Literature. Due to its widespread popularity, critiques and analyses of the work abound, especially of Huck and his development. But in all analyses of Huck, scholars and students alike have neglected to give rightful place to one of the most important protagonist in American literature- Jim. Without Jim's provision for Huck, Huck's spiritual journey would have failed. In Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jim plays the role of a father to Huck by providing for his physical, emotional, and moral well- being.Jim plays the role of the father by providing Huck's physical well being. For example Jim provides food and shelter for Huck (Twain 64). He is continually caching fish and fixing meals for Huck. He takes it upon himself to build a snug wigwam on the raft to get under in blazing weather and rainy. In addition, Jim gives Huck some advices (Twain 17). From the beginning of the story when he sees his Pap's boot prints, Huck establishes a precedent of going to Jim for advices. Despite of the slave's fearful superstitions, his advice is mostly sound, as seen when he advises against boarding the Walter Scott. Lastly, Jim provides protection for Huck. For instance, prior to Huck's and Jim's departure down the Mississippi River, they encounter a dead body on a wrecked boat near Jackson Island (Twain 50). Jim bends down and looks at the mutilated man's face and recognizes Pap's corpse. He tells Huck to walk in the room, but not to look at his face since it is too ghastly (Twain 50). Worried about Huck, he prevents Huck from seeing his father's disfigured face. Also, Jim actively protects Huck by lying to the King and Duke for him after they catch up him on the river and threaten him. Huck had no one to protect him before, now he has Jim top stand up for him against people that are like Pap, as father should. Although Jim's ability to protect him is limited because of his status as a black slave, he protects him as best he can.Not only is Jim heroic, he also humanizes Huck and shapes his conscience for the better. Through his kindness, courage and loyalty, he earns Huck's respect. Huck decides to play a trick on Jim by pretending to drown (Twain 84). Then, after telling Jim that he had a nightmare, he teases Jim's superstitions by asking him to interpret pile of trash. Jim infuriated and tells Huck that he is so grateful that Huck is alive...

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