Mark Twain, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

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In the novel by Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the two main characters, Huck and Jim, are strongly linked. Their relation is portrayed by various sides, some of them good and some others bad. But the essential interest of that relation is the way that uses the author to describe it. Even if he had often been misunderstood, Twain always implied a message behind the themes developed around Huck and Jim.

The first encounter between Huck Finn and Jim is at the beginning of the book, when Huck’s friend, Tom Sawyer, tries to fool Jim, Miss Watson’s slave. Huck and Jim still don’t know each other, but Huck isn’t biased against the old slave. It’s an important point because, as racism was a widely held mentality in the South, we can learn that that young boy was more open-minded than most people there. Later, they find themselves in the same situation. As they were escaping from the civilized world, they take refuge in the Jackson’s Island, on the Mississippi river. Huck is running away from a bad father and Jim has leaved Miss Watson because he didn’t want to be sold to New Orleans.
Soon after joining Jim on the island, Huck begins to realize that Jim has more talents and intelligence than Huck has been aware of. Jim knows "all kinds of signs" about the future, people's personalities, and weather forecasting. Huck finds this kind of information necessary as he and Jim drift down the Mississippi on a raft. As important, Huck feels a comfort with Jim that he has not felt with the other major characters in the novel. With Jim, Huck can enjoy the best aspects of his earlier influences. Jim's meaning to Huck changes as they proceed through their adventure. He starts out as an extra person just to take on the journey, but they transform into a friend. "It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger."(chap. XV) Huck tries to squeal on Jim but can't because he remembers that Jim called him "de bes' fren' I ever had; on'y white genlman dat ever kep' his promise to ole Jim."(chap. XVI) Huck realizes that he can not turn Jim in since they both act as runaway outcasts on the river. The support they have for each other sprouts friendship. As does the Widow, Jim allows Huck security, but Jim is not as confining as is the Widow. Like Tom Sawyer, Jim is intelligent but his intelligence ...

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...cial bigot, Tom. In addition, both sacrifices have as a consequence a life of everlasting hell. When Huck sacrifices himself for Jim, he accepts a literal hell (that is truly the path to heaven). Jim, on the other hand, accepts a life of figurative hell in slavery, when he is in fact free all along. Finally, each sacrifice shares irony, in that they were both based on unknown pieces of unknown, but significant pieces of information. Huck is unaware that his decision of accepting "hell" will actually lead to his salvation and ironically decides on doing what the thinks is "wrong." Likewise, Jim is unaware that he is free, and is not risking his freedom in saving Tom.

In making these two brave sacrifices, Huck and Jim achieve a higher character than if they had chosen easier paths. Huck's willingness to face hell to protect Jim and Jim's willingness to face capture and slavery to save Tom, both contribute to the overall theme of racial equality/inequality present throughout the book. Huck and Jim's journey down the Mississippi River has led them to look past colour boundaries, and discover that "all me are created equal."
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