The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses Jim as the moral center of the story to depict the hardships, racial obstacles, and stereotypes that blacks endured during the era of American slavery. Dating back to the 1600’s and during the harsh cruelty of the American slave era comes the inspiring story of a black man in search of a new start. Among many other slaves, Jim is brought to an unjust, nefarious reality as he endures the oppression of racial discrimination. Throughout American history, many blacks grew up constantly bearing the unforgiving rancor of whites. A discriminating social system emerged, establishing white supremacy. Sadly, whites claimed superiority over any non-white and attacked many traits of these lower groups including their intelligence, roles in society and their emotions as human beings. In many parts of the story, Jim is viewed by the whites around him as a dullard. Jim seems to do whatever he is told with the notion that whites know best. Later Huck and Tom, both white children, devise a plan to rescue Jim from his capture. Although the two boys are significantly younger than Jim, the black slave chooses to listen to them because of the color of their skin: “Jim he couldn’t see no sense in the most of it, but he allowed [the boys were] white folks and knowed better than him” (Twain 188). During the slave era, the color white symbolized intelligence, a force to intimidate and control others. Jim’s statement reflects the insecurity that had been forged within him by the outside white force. He fails to understand the terms of the plan to set him free but understands that the immature children know what is best-- for they are white. Moreover, slavery forced blacks into many subordinate roles. S... ... middle of paper ... ...ce of the times he has spent with them. At one point, Jim reflects on an incident when he has struck his child out of anger. After realizing the reason for her disobedience, her loss of hearing, he pleads to God, “de Lord God Amighty fogive po’ ole Jim, kaze he never qwyne to fogive hisself as long’s he live!” (Twain 118). He discovers “she was plumb deef en dumb… en [he had] ben a-treat’n her so!” (Twain 118). With the sound of a distant whack, Jim is flooded with guilt and regret. He relates the sound to a past which he will never be able to forgive himself for. The once buried feelings for his family finally surface, vivified with a new sense of emotion for his loved ones. On the outside Jim is a slave, a black creature who endures the callous twists of life. Under his skin, however, he is a father, an honest and caring person and most importantly a human.

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