One of the most effective ways Twain does this is by creating Jim, a character who is an escaped slave and who at first seems to embody many of the stereotypes of slaves or African-Americans during this period such as the tendency to be superstitious and acquiescent to the requests of whites, despite the fact he has escaped. As this character analysis of Jim in Huck Finn suggests, by representing Jim as one of the most reliable, least hypocritical, most honest and caring characters in the text, this novel makes a statement about the hypocrisy of the institution of slavery and about the whites who support the institution. Interestingly, Mark Twain wrote the novel several years after slavery was declared illegal but still chose to set the story in the time of slavery and this makes the reader wonder about this decision and whether or not the deliberate setting within slavery is significant in terms of the message or themes about slavery or anti-slavery Twain wished to convey.
It is his literal, pragmatic approach to his surroundings and his inner struggle with his conscience that make him one of the most important and recognizable figures in American literature.
As a coming of age character in the late nineteenth century, Huck views his surroundings with a practical and logical lens.
His observations are not filled with judgments; instead, Huck observes his environment and gives realistic descriptions of the Mississippi River and the culture that dominates the towns that dot its shoreline from Missouri south.
It is important to note, however, that Huck himself never laughs at the incongruities he describes. For example, Huck simply accepts, at face value, the abstract social and religious tenets pressed upon him by Miss Watson until his experiences cause him to make decisions in which his learned values and his natural feelings come in conflict.
When Huck is unable to conform to the rules, he accepts that it is his own deficiency, not the rule, that is bad. Abstractly, he does not recognize the contradiction of "loving thy neighbor" and enforcing slavery at the same time. He observes the racist and anti-government rants of his ignorant father but does not condemn him because it is the "accepted" view in his world.
Huck simply reports what he sees, and the deadpan narration allows Twain to depict a realistic view of common ignorance, slavery, and the inhumanity that follows. As with several of the frontier literary characters that came before him, Huck possesses the ability to adapt to almost any situation through deceit.
He is playful but practical, inventive but logical, compassionate but realistic, and these traits allow him to survive the abuse of Pap, the violence of a feud, and the wiles of river con men.
To persevere in these situations, Huck lies, cheats, steals, and defrauds his way down the river. These traits are part of the reason that Huck Finn was viewed as a book not acceptable for children, yet they are also traits that allow Huck to survive his surroundings and, in the conclusion, make the right decision.
Because Huck believes that the laws of society are just, he condemns himself as a traitor and a villain for acting against them and aiding Jim. More important, Huck believes that he will lose his chance at Providence by helping a slave.Published in , Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remains an American classic taught in thousands of classrooms across the country.
While the book seems like a novel of adventure, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is at heart a satire in which Twain examines “civilization” and freedom in the pre-Civil War South. Twain’s use of the semicolon represents Huck and Jim’s journey on the river, drifting along.
He allows the sentences to stream together, each describing a new intricacy of the river, just as the river is constantly pushing the raft along, taking Huck and Jim to new, unseen places.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Home / Literature / Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Character Quotes / Character Analysis (Click the character infographic to download.) But Twain is smarter than that—and so is Huck, eventually.
Jim is every bit as complex a character as Huck is, and maybe even more. Baltich, BYU, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Concept Analysis Literary Text: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Dodd, Mead, & Company) Summary ♦ continuing in the vein of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn has run into a large sum of money which he holds in a bank trust.
Huck’s instinctual distrust and his experiences as he travels down the river force him to question the things society has taught him. According to the law, Jim is Miss Watson’s property, but according to Huck’s sense of logic and fairness, it seems “right” to help Jim.
As this character analysis of Jim in Huck Finn suggests, by representing Jim as one of the most reliable, least hypocritical, most honest and caring characters in the text, this novel makes a statement about the hypocrisy of the institution of slavery and about the whites who support the institution.