Huckleberry Finn Essay on Racism

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November 4 2012
Huckleberry Finn
IB English 11
Characterization of Jim
Throughout Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain portrays Jim as a human rather than an inferior being and a slave. There are several instances where Jim's character is further developed and these developments make the reader think of Jim as a human, rather than an inferior being. One such instance is when Huck meets Jim on Jackson Island right after they both run away. Another example is when Huck and Jim are on a raft going down the Mississippi river headed to the Ohio river, but they get lost in the fog and miss the river. Finally, the third point is when the doctor gives the speech about Jim and his willingness to help a child in need, even though he is a runaway slave. Twain uses dialogue and narration to characterize Jim and make the reader think of Jim as a human. Twain had antislavery views, he wanted to spread these views to others by writing about slavery and convincing his readers that such a thing was immoral and wrong.

First, Huck meets Jim at Jackson Island and talks to him about why they ran away. In this scene, Mark Twain portrays Jim as a human by giving him the emotions of any normal person, "'Blamed if I would, Jim.' 'Well I b'lieve you, Huck. I-I run off'" (32). Through the dialogue between Jim and Huck, Twain shows that Jim can feel fear just like a normal human being. Another reason that Twain uses dialogue here is to show that a conversation where both people are speaking to each other equally is possible; even if the conversation is between a runaway slave and white person. The fear that Jim feels is shown by his stuttering of the word I, he feels the fear because he has just run away, and does not want someone to find him and return him. Runaway slaves were usually punished severely. At one point, Jim talks about how he thought Huck had died; "I'uz powerful sorry you's killed, Huck, but I ain't no mo', now." (33). Jim shows compassion by saying he was sorry that Huck had...
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