The Importance of Class Essay

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A runaway slave, Jim was looked at differently by society because of his skin color. His intelligence and selflessness was overlooked daily by Ms. Watson, his owner. According to society, Jim’s character class as a slave puts him at the bottom. He had nothing, not even his family who was separated from him early in his years as Ms. Watson’s slave. Her character status was looked at as one higher than Jim, allowing her to have hegemony. According to Karl Marx, “hegemony is how dominant groups maintain their power (Guerin 127).” The power is not obtained by violence or coercion, but through capital cultural leadership. Society approved the actions of Ms. Watson because of the power she had in their town. Jim’s low class as a slave removed his right as his own human being, and now considered as property.
At the beginning of the novel “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” Jim told his story of his encounter with witches gaining him fame with the other slaves. “Niggers would come miles to hear Jim tell about it, and he was more looked up to than any nigger in that country (Twain 36), Twain stated. Although he had high status with other slaves, he was still looked down by the whites. Even after Jim was a free man, according to the will of Ms. Watson, he was still looked at as someone being in a low class. He had no knowledge that he was free, but the citizens continued to call him a slave and searched for him. Just by the color of his skin, what he has, and his poor state, Jim would never be on the same status as Ms. Watson or any other slave owner. Whites had to do what they could to obtain their reputation of being the high class citizens.
Karl Marx, the creator of Marxism, had many theoretical approaches that he felt caused many class conflicts. French Marxist Louis Althusser, discussed the approach Ideological State Apparatus (ISA). He saw it as a form of ideology and “borrowed the term imaginary from Jacques Lacan to describe ideology as unconscious (Guerin 128).” ISA includes the institution in society such as, family that Jim loved so much. He cherished his family and his marriage to his wife. Once Jim was separated from them, the horrible thought of him being separated from his family forever motivated him to run away. He allowed his love for his family to drive to doing a criminal act. Jim was known for having one of the few functioning families in the novel and when he ran away later discovering Huck, he acts as a father to him. Jim would cook and shelter Huck by any means possible, caring extremely for the boy. He not only cared for Huck physically, but he always wanted to protect his emotions. Once Jim realized the body floating in the random house in the water was his dad “Pap,” he did not let Huck see. He unconsciously cared for Huck and acted very selfless toward him the entire journey. Jim took family to heart and he never was intrusive towards Huck, being also protective of him. The night Huck was lost in the...

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