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Relationships Between Huckleberry Finn and Jim in The Novel

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Words: 2008 |

Pages: 4|

11 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Words: 2008|Pages: 4|11 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Introduction: The plot, characters, subject, theme are all things that make up a tv show, movie or novel. An episodic novel follows a similar structure to a television show. The narrative takes connected incidents often connected through the characters. In any given “episode” or section of a novel the characters, their motivations, and their relationships with other characters would change little to none throughout the novel. Sometimes when the characters meet other characters, there would be no momentous impact on the protagonist. Background: Mark Twain wrote the novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” in the episodic format, writing little “episodes” into his novel. Twain took the separated episodes that juxtaposed and weaved them together into the great American novel. This novel’s setting was before the Civil War in the American South, a major dispute during this time was slavery. Thesis statement: From that period arose the themes of the novel which can be considered, insight into humanity, friendship, and family. Three separate episodes illustrate these themes excellently such as Huckleberry Finn understands the significance of his decision of whether to turn Jim in (Chapter 31) when Jim is missing his family and his daughter (Chapter 23) and Jim sheltering Huck (Chapter 8 & 9).

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Topic sentence: At such a young age Huckleberry Finn made a very mature decision. Chapter 31 is such a monumental chapter because Huck a boy at the age of 13 made such a mature and moral decision. During this chapter some events leading up to Huck’s famous line, it could be related to how he came to his decision. The duke and the king are conmen and working on their next scam and Huck sees a chance to escape. The conmen ended up making a fake handbill and turning Jim in for $40 in reward. Huck was feeling guilty for helping Jim escape slavery. Huck writes a letter to Miss Watson illustrating where Jim is. He is momentarily relieved with writing the letting feeling as though this confession will save him from going to hell for helping a slave. That relief slowly transforms and twists back into guilt and he must decide between two things, going to heaven and hell. His ultimate decision resulted in the declaration of “All right, then, I’ll go to hell” — and tore it up. Evidence & citing: In chapter 31 it described the inner conflict Huck was facing. It says, “The more I studied about this the more my conscience went to grinding me, and the more wicked and low-down and ornery I got to feeling.” Commentary: This shows that when Miss Watson was trying to “sivilize” Huck, some of her ideas and rules stuck with him. Evidence & citing: Huck was facing an inner battle that was tearing him up because he was taught that anyone that helped a slave escape was damned to hell. After writing the letter Huck said, “I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knew I could pray now.” Shortly after he says, ”But somehow I couldn’t seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind… and at last, I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard and he was so grateful and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he’s got now;” Commentary: This proves that Huck wasn’t able to see Jim as something evil, or something bad. He could only remember the good times with Jim, he’s grown to have a meaningful friendship and relationship with Jim and that just can’t be broken by being told that it was wrong. Evidence & citing: Huck also says, “I would take up wickedness again… And for a starter, I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again.” Commentary: This shows that Huck was willing to do anything to get Jim back from the duke and the king, so he could have his friendship again. Why is this seen as such a mature decision in literature? Huckleberry Finn was a boy at the age of thirteen that was able to defy society’s beliefs that the slaves were less than human. No one in this novel told Huck that Jim was anything but a slave, but Huck saw through that façade He saw a kind man that was able to feel feelings and was able to feel sadness for being taken away from his family which once again society said that slaves weren’t able to have feelings. This connects to two of the themes of this novel: friendship and insights into humanity. This chapter illustrates the friendship between Huckleberry Finn and Jim excellently while giving the readers an insight into the inner workings of Huck’s brain and thought process.

Topic sentence: Huck was able to see Jim as a person who experienced grief. During chapter 23, the duke and the dauphin managed to con people out of their money for their show. They ended their show after only a brief performance, the townspeople embarrassed at being ripped off, tell everyone in town how great the play was so that they wouldn’t be the only ones ripped off and they could still keep their honor. The duke and the dauphin ended up with $465 over the three-night showing. The most important part of this chapter is the ending of it, where Jim is missing his wife and two children. Evidence & citing: In chapter 23, Huck says, “I went to sleep, and Jim didn’t call me when it was my turn. He often done that. When I wake up just at daybreak, he was sitting there with his head down betwixt his knees, moaning and mourning to himself.” Commentary: This illustrates the theme of family because Jim was crying because he missed his family and was homesick. Back before the civil war one of the beliefs in the south was that the blacks didn’t care for each other and wouldn’t cry from being torn from their family. Evidence & citing: Huck also says, “I didn’t take notice nor let on. I knowed what it was about. He was thinking about his wife and his children, away up yonder, and he was low and homesick; because he hadn’t ever been away from home before in his life;” Commentary: This quote shows how Huckleberry Finn was starting to learn that Jim had the same emotions as him and expressed them in some of the same and different ways. Evidence & citing: “and I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for their’n,” Huck says. Commentary: This proves Huckleberry Finn’s acceptance of Jim as an equal. He was able to look past the difference in their color of skin and their cultures and understand how Jim was feeling. Evidence & citing: “It don’t seem natural, but I reckon it’s so. He was often moaning and mourning that way nights, when he judged I was asleep, and saying, “Po’ little ‘Lizabeth! ‘Po little Johnny! It’s mighty hard; I spec’ I ain’t ever gwyne to see you no mo’, no mo’!” Commentary: This shows that Jim truly cared what Huck thought of him and didn’t want to have Huck’s opinion change about him. It also shows how much Jim cared for his family still even when they have been separated for months, years even. Huck was able to see how distraught Jim was and wasn’t going to make it worse by saying something snide. They were able to continue as friends earning more respect for each other and learning more about what the other cared about.

Topic sentence: Jim was able to see Huck as a friend faster than Huck was able to see Jim as one. In chapter 9, Jim and Huck take their canoe and their food and provisions into a cave to hide should visitors arrive on the island. A storm strikes flooding the river, and in a washed down house Jim and Huck find a body. The man appeared to have been shot in the back. Evidence & citing: In the chapter, it says, “There was something laying on the floor in the far corner that looked like a man. So Jim says: “Hello, you!” But it didn’t budge. So I hollered again, and then Jim says: “De man ain’t asleep — he’s dead. You hold still — I’ll go en see.” Commentary: Jim going to see who the man is, shows the friendship that is blossoming between Huck and himself. Jim doesn’t want Huck to see the face of a dead man, for fear that the imagery would scar Huck. Evidence & citing: “Come in, Huck, but doan’ look at his face — it’s too gashly.” Commentary: This shows Jim being protective of Huck, he just barely met the boy, but he wants to shelter Huck from the bad things in the world. Why is it that Jim shows this much concern for Huck after just meeting him? Commentary: Jim’s son could have been around the age of Huckleberry, so maybe Jim was just letting his fatherly instincts take over and he was trying to protect his ‘boy’. Evidence & citing: Later in chapter 10, it says, “After breakfast, I wanted to talk about the dead man and guess out how he come to be killed, but Jim didn’t want to. He said it would fetch bad luck.” Commentary: This shows how Jim is sheltering Huck and how Jim is treating Huck as a son. Jim wants to keep Huck from thinking of that because he’s trying to be fatherly and protect him. We later learn that the man they found dead was Huck’s father. Why did the author choose to tell us who the dead man was later in the story? Mark Twain might have chosen to tell us who the dead man was in chapter 7 because it adds more to the relationship between Huck and Jim. Jim an escaped slave shelters Huck a white boy from the scares and trauma that could come from seeing a boy’s father dead in front of him. This chapter connects to the theme of insights into humanity because we try to shelter people if we can. It doesn’t matter if we are related to them or not, people try to avoid traumatizing children.

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Conclusion paragraph: “An episodic novel is composed of loosely connected incidents, each one more or less self-contained, often connected by a central character or characters (Wiehardt 2019).” Throughout the novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” these episodes are used for example in chapters 31, 23 and chapters 9 and 10. Mark Twain can make a reader question the society that ours emerged from in 279 pages. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” is such an amazing novel because of the questions it makes you ask while reading it. Such as “Why is Jim able to see Huckleberry Finn as a son?” Mark Twain takes the themes of the novel and interlaces them together to form something beautiful that teaches so much about what it means to be human and how friendship and family tie into that. In chapter 31, Huck was able to look past the differences between him and Jim. In chapter 23, Huck learned that Jim was a human and showed feelings. In chapters 9 and 10, Jim protected Huck from seeing his dead father. These are all things that we as a society experience daily. People look past the differences between them and try to find common ground between them. This is how friendships start. People show their feelings to others and accept showing their feelings. People try to protect others they meet and others they care about. It is simply human nature to go through this cycle of making a friend, revealing something about ourselves, and then protecting each other. Without looking at the theme as a combination of friendship, family, and insights of humanity, it would be hard to see the bigger theme of what it means to be human.

Works Cited

  1. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Themes.” Literary Devices, 26 Nov. 2019, literarydevices.net/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn-themes/.
  2. SparkNotes, SparkNotes, www.sparknotes.com/lit/huckfinn/section10/.
  3. Wiehardt, Ginny. “Learn About Episodic Novels in Fiction and What It Takes to Write Them.” The Balance Careers, The Balance Careers, 7 Dec. 2019, www.thebalancecareers.com/what-are-episodic-novels-how-do-i-write-one-1277096.  

Introduction close-button

Should follow an “upside down” triangle format, meaning, the writer should start off broad and introduce the text and author or topic being discussed, and then get more specific to the thesis statement.

Background close-button

Provides a foundational overview, outlining the historical context and introducing key information that will be further explored in the essay, setting the stage for the argument to follow.

Thesis statement close-button

Cornerstone of the essay, presenting the central argument that will be elaborated upon and supported with evidence and analysis throughout the rest of the paper.

Topic sentence close-button

The topic sentence serves as the main point or focus of a paragraph in an essay, summarizing the key idea that will be discussed in that paragraph.

Evidence & citing close-button

The body of each paragraph builds an argument in support of the topic sentence, citing information from sources as evidence.

Commentaryclose-button

After each piece of evidence is provided, the author should explain HOW and WHY the evidence supports the claim.

Conclusion paragraph close-button

Should follow a right side up triangle format, meaning, specifics should be mentioned first such as restating the thesis, and then get more broad about the topic at hand. Lastly, leave the reader with something to think about and ponder once they are done reading.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Relationships Between Huckleberry Finn And Jim In The Novel. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/relationships-between-huckleberry-finn-and-jim-in-the-novel/
“Relationships Between Huckleberry Finn And Jim In The Novel.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/relationships-between-huckleberry-finn-and-jim-in-the-novel/
Relationships Between Huckleberry Finn And Jim In The Novel. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/relationships-between-huckleberry-finn-and-jim-in-the-novel/> [Accessed 2 Mar. 2024].
Relationships Between Huckleberry Finn And Jim In The Novel [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2024 Mar 2]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/relationships-between-huckleberry-finn-and-jim-in-the-novel/
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