Mark Twain’s stereotypical development of the character Jim arises from the common beliefs and styles of the time “Writing at a time when the blackface minstrel was popular”, Mark Twain perfectly developed Jim into the minstrel environment (Ellison 42). Although the book was written in the 188O’s and not the 184O’s when minstrel shows began appearing, the story renders a comic primal touch to the character Jim (Carey-Webb 24). The mask was symbolic of the illusion that African Americans were equal and had an equal roll in commerce and thus society was a socialist form of government. However, by using a mask that showed a “black faced figure of white fun”, the African character was reduced to a joke with no power within the society (Elision 421).
When the novel was completed, although Africans had received citizenship, Southern Caucasian society saw them as animals devoid of any soul or feeling...
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...to save Tom’s life. In this scene Tom is wounded and Jim offers to stay with him when Huck gets the physician, despite realizing that he will most likely be captured and end up back in slavery. Jim emphasizes that all people as equal and that Tom would do the same thing for him as he states:
Ef it wuz him dat ‘uz bein’ sot free, en one er de boys wuz to git shot, would he say, ‘Go on en save me, nemmine ‘bout a doctor f’r to save dis one? Is dat like Mars Tom Sawyer? Would he say dat: You bet he wouldn’t! Well, den, is Jim gwyne to say it? No, sah--I doan ‘budge a step out’n dis place, ‘dout a doctor; not if it’s forty year! (Clemens 408)
Through this single book, Twain shows the conflicting nature of fact versus fiction in the South. He illustrates although people suggest that socialism is alive and flourishing, it is simply an illusion like that of a minstrel.
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