This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Jim In Huckleberry Finn Essay

1941 words - 8 pages

When Jim leaves society, he finally gains his individuality. But once Jim returns to civilization, he is immediately marginalized once again, representing the effect of society on the portrayal of Jim. The development of Jim from a caricature to a real person throughout the novel conveys the oppression of African Americans and their struggle to show their true identity in antebellum America.
In the beginning of the book, Twain portrays Jim as a caricature with limited individuality, demonstrating the dehumanization of slaves. When Tom and Huck first come across Ms. Watson’s slave Jim, the boys treat Jim like an object: “Tom whispered to me and wanted to tie Jim to a tree for fun” (Twain ...view middle of the document...

As well, Dunbar’s poem comments on the African American need for survival and equality, which is also a struggle for Jim. Both Jim’s story and Dunbar’s speaker convey the brutality towards blacks in America and their need to cover their true identities. At this point in the book, Jim is continuing to “wear the mask” as a caricature of a slave in 19th century America.
Once Jim and Huck finally leave civilization, Jim’s fear to convey his true identity even away from civilization represents the oppression of slaves. When Jim and Huck both leave St. Petersburg, Jim is afraid of being discovered and brought back into slavery. Consequently, Twain illustrates Huck’s current superiority over Jim, even as a white child. As Huck finds Jim on Jackson Island, Jim yells out, “Doan’ hurt me––don’t! I hain’t ever done no harm to a ghos’!” (Twain 53). Jim is afraid of Huck turning him in and therefore begs him not to hurt him. Furthermore, Jim’s panic represents the power of white society over him and his need to plea even to a little boy. Once Jim realizes Huck won’t harm him, he reveals his relief to have escaped slavery: “yes-en I’s rich now, come to look at it. I owns myself, en’s I’s wuth eight hund’d dollars. I wist I had de money, I wouldn’t want no mo” (58). Jim’s comfort in his freedom highlights his struggle in slavery and his need for solace from discrimination. Jim conveys that because he would be pleased with just his freedom and eight hundred dollars, he’s on the bottom of the hierarchal spectrum and he treasures his liberty. After some time passed, Huck plays a trick on Jim by telling him they didn’t get separated in the fog and Jim feels betrayed and saddened by Huck’s game. Huck responds to Jim’s feelings, saying “I didn’t do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn’t done that one if I’d known he’d feel that way.” (95). For the first time, Huck is starting to see Jim as not just a caricature to play games with but a real person who has feelings. However, Huck’s actions still portray societies belief in the discrimination and mistreatment of blacks since Huck felt he could trick Jim. But, Huck’s realization to treat Jim correctly represents a turning point in their friendship and growing respect.
Eventually, readers finally learn about Jim’s true identity, conveying the effect of society and slavery on Jim. Because Jim and Huck have enough time to grow their friendship and talk, Huck learns that, “the first thing he would do when go to a free state would go to saving up money and never spend a single cent, and when he got enough he would buy his wife…then they would both work to buy the two children” (110). Previous to this quote, readers do not know Jim personally. Finally, Jim conveys his humanity and genuine character by telling Huck about his family. Because it took Jim to flee society and many chapters to learn about him as a person, Twain represents the prejudices towards slaves and the suppression of his feelings. As Huck continues to...

Find Another Essay On Jim in Huckleberry Finn

Analysis of Jim as the only adult character in "Huckleberry Finn"

1182 words - 5 pages story is located on the Mississippi River in the early nineteenth century when slavery was still at its peak. Twain utilized this novel to display the morality and congeniality of a condescended slave through the corruption of the "white" people.This novel is comprised of two main characters of Huckleberry Finn (Huck) and Jim, a run-away slave. Jim plays the role of a fatherly figure to Huck for the majority of the novel. The two companions

The Moral Dilemma In Mark Twains "Huckleberry Finn" What is the major moral dilemma that Huckleberry Finn is put in? Weather to turn Jim in or not

795 words - 3 pages Huck is put in a major moral dilemma in Mark Twains "Huckleberry Finn" - whether to turn Jim in or not to. Religion tells him that by helping Jim go free, he will go to hell. He would walk around town in shame if found out. Society would disown him. Yet Huck's relationship with Jim, along with his own principles, aids Huck to choose the right decision, one in which he continues assisting Jim on his quest for freedom.Religion tells Huck that by

Huckleberry Finn and his close relationship to Jim

810 words - 3 pages During the novel "Huckleberry Finn," the role of Huck's father was temporarily taken upon by Jim, a slave. Growing up with Tom Sawyer as a leader and mentor, Huck never learned how to be his own person, and what was right from wrong. Although Miss Watson tried desperately to civilize young Huck, nothing could tame his wild spirit and need to be free. Only the qualities found in Jim could balance him out, focusing his vision and leading him in

Huckleberry Finn and Jim as tools for an Analysis of Society

753 words - 4 pages In Mark Twain’s novel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, the main character and narrator is an uneducated and uncivilized white child who travels along the Mississippi river on a raft with an escaped slave named Jim. Throughout these travels, Twain uses the characteristics of these two central figures as ways of criticizing society. Huckleberry Finn’s innocence allows Twain to remove Huck from society so as to provide the novel with as

"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain - Jim and Huck's Relationship: An Analysis of Twain's Writing Style

1306 words - 5 pages to get away from the swamp. We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.-Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (115)Mark Twain'sAdventures of Huckleberry Finn describes the experiences of a teenage boy, Huckleberry Finn, and his encounters and adventures as he and Jim, a runaway slave, travel down the Mississippi River

Who is your Daddy? An essay on That Jim is a true father of Huck (from Clemens's "Huckleberry Finn")

914 words - 4 pages Contains citations to other worksThe father of a family is its supporter and leader. He loves and respects hischildren, and must be willing to sacrifice for them. In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn bySamuel Langhorne Clemens, Huck's father has none of these traits. The father, Pap, is anabusive and drunk man. He treats Huck like a caged animal and not a son. Pap does notposses the qualities to be any kind of a father. However, Jim, a slave with

Superstions in Huckleberry Finn

720 words - 3 pages In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, there is a lot of superstition. Some examples of superstition in the novel are Huck killing a spider which is bad luck, the hair-ball used to tell fortunes, and the rattle-snake skin Huck touches that brings Huck and Jim good and bad luck. Superstition plays an important role in the novel Huck Finn.In Chapter one Huck sees a spider crawling up his shoulder, so he flipped it off and

Superstitions in Huckleberry Finn

673 words - 3 pages In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain,there is a lot of superstition. Some examples of superstition in thenovel are Huck killing a spider which is bad luck, the hair-ball usedto tell fortunes, and the rattle-snake skin Huck touches that bringsHuck and Jim good and bad luck. Superstition plays an important rolein the novel Huck Finn.In Chapter one Huck sees a spider crawling up his shoulder, sohe flipped it off and it went

Satire in Huckleberry Finn

861 words - 3 pages To understand Mark Twain's cynicism in The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn one must understand what satire is. It can be defined as a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn and to expose and discredit vice or folly. Satire is the tool that Twain employs in his novel to exaggerate and make fun of the many problems facing American society. Some of the major aspects of society that Twain attacks are religion, slavery

Hypocrites in huckleberry finn

919 words - 4 pages In the novel The adventures of huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses his knowledge of the Mississippi River to write about the ways of life in the Southern Mississippi area before the civil war. In chapters 17-22 of the novel Mark Twain exposes the Hypocrisy of Southern society through false notions of aristocracy, Pious support of religion, and pretend knowledge of academics. He presents these aspects of Southern society through the feuds between

Hypocrites in huckleberry finn

919 words - 4 pages In the novel The adventures of huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses his knowledge of the Mississippi River to write about the ways of life in the Southern Mississippi area before the civil war. In chapters 17-22 of the novel Mark Twain exposes the Hypocrisy of Southern society through false notions of aristocracy, Pious support of religion, and pretend knowledge of academics. He presents these aspects of Southern society through the feuds between

Similar Essays

Pap Vs. Jim In Huckleberry Finn

640 words - 3 pages A father is usually the person who an adolescent boy learns from and looks up to. Huckleberry Finn is a boy who, from the very start, lacks an appropriate father figure. There are two older males in the novel that are closely related to Huck: Pap, his biological father, who is an incurable drunk, and Jim, who is a black slave belonging to the widow and her sister, with whom Huck lived. These males attempt to lead Huck down two very different

Huck And Jim In Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

565 words - 2 pages characters stay mostly the same throughout the book. But during their progression through the novel, each experiences character changes and makes discoveries. In fact, many of their round characteristics are based on each other. The relationship that builds between the two actually creates round characteristics for them. Works Cited Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Perfection Learning Corporation , Iowa: The Perfection Form Company, 1979.

The Relationship Between Huckleberry Finn And Jim In Mark Twain's "The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn"

2036 words - 8 pages The relationship between Huckleberry Finn and Jim are central to Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Huck's relationships with individual characters are unique in their own way; however, his relationship with Jim is one that is ever changing and sincere. As a poor, uneducated boy, Huck distrusts the morals and intentions of the society that treats him as an outcast and fails to protect him from abuse. The uneasiness about society

Huckleberry Finn And His Friend Jim

998 words - 4 pages he is particularly concerned with the subject of slavery and does not agree with the law that states that his new-found friend Jim is property of Miss Watson. Furthermore, Jim is Huck’s friend. He is a black man and a previous slave of Miss Watson. He and Huckleberry Finn find each other again after Jim escapes from Miss Watson in search of sanctuary from slavery. Jim appears to be superstitious man, but at the same time he is more grown-up