April 15, 2013
Nobility at the Bottom of Society
Someone who is noble is defined as a distinguished person noted for feats of courage and heroism. The character of Jim in Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain certainly fits that description. He risked his life in order to free himself from slavery, and in doing so, helps Huck to realize that he has worth. Huck becomes aware of Jim's sense of love and humanity, his basic goodness, and his desire to help others. Jim faces discrimination based on the color of his skin and is faced with the challenges of racist stereotypes. Twain characterizes Jim as a sincere yet naive character, representing the runaway slave as a fatherly figure who maintains his integrity as being one of the sole characters of the novel who wouldn't be described as hypocritical, despite the fact that Jim also retains a childlike mentality. Throughout the novel Jim expresses nobility through his selfless nature, his strength to good while resisting evil, and his ability to bear with any misfortune that may befall on him or his loved ones.
Mark Twain allows Jim to break racist stereotypes by showing more human qualities of him when he expresses his selfless nature. by assuming a role as a father figure to Huck, who he watches over throughout the bulk of the novel. Jim protects Huck by shielding his view from the dead body that turned out to be Huck's father Pap. "I went in en unkivered him and didn't let you Houlihan 2
come in? Well, den, you kn git yo money when you wants it kase dat wuz him" (320). This show of consideration and paternal care for Huck makes Jim out to be more humane. Jim demonstrates his humanity by not only caring for Huck physically, but also mentally and emotionally in shielding him from a sight that could have been mentally or emotionally strenuous on someone like Huck. Jim’s actions are partly a result of his inability to distance himself from the society which he has...