Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain illustrates the bond formed between Huck, the young white protagonist, and Jim, Huck's black companion. While Huck and Jim travel down the river it becomes apparent that Jim is more of a father figure to Huck than his biological father. Pap teaches the virtues of a life not worth living, while Jim gives Huck the proper fatherly support, compassion, and knowledge for Huck to become a man. Although Huck and Jim come from separate racial backgrounds their time together allows them to surpass their ethnic segregation and become true friends, and family.
While Pap acts as an anchor on Huck's heel, Jim opens up a new world for Huck, and becomes his companion and a resource of knowledge. After Huck escapes his father and the "sivilized society" he encounters Jim, Miss Watson's runaway slave. While on Jackson's island Jim provides useful fables and simple knowledge that aid Huck, Jim's simple ideas offer a greater aid to Huck, than any that Pap had ever given. After the two set out on the raft Jim attempts to protect Huck by any means he posses. Jim uses his resourcefulness to build a wigwam on the raft and raises it so that the two don't get wet
The father son relationship also requires respect and love from the child for the father. Jim is rooted in the deepest corners of Huck's heart. Throughout the story we see Huck's compassion for the man. Be it when a rattle snake bites Jim, and Huck nurses him back to life, or when Huck is being interrogated about who his raft companion is; Huck feels it necessary to protect and aid Jim on their journey
Pap is the semblance of a poor father; he drinks, scams, and beats his own son. This forces Huck to seek a new father figure. He finds the necessary combination of respect, love, and protection in Jim. Although Jim is not book smart, he maintains the simple values that Huck needs. Their relationship resembles that of a father and son, they both go to great lengths to protect one another and seek each other's approval. Huck has no true father but after spending time with Jim and realizing his true qualities he holds a closer bond to Jim than any other male figure he has encountered. Although Huck's bonds to his biological father are severed, by chapter 18, he's discovering a better father in Jim.