Jim Alienation in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Topics: Morality, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Religion Pages: 2 (819 words) Published: November 16, 2010
Charles walks down the halls at his school hanging his head in a desperate attempt to be left alone rather than picked on; because of his glasses and lack of muscle tone he has been forced into the classification of a nerd and as such is outcast from the ‘popular’ crowd. Because of his alienation, Charles is able to see the moral flaws of the ‘populars’ when he himself upholds the values they parade. The same circumstance is true for the character Jim in Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Because of the color of his skin Jim is an outcast; but his social exile that reveals the corruption of white society. Jim’s alienation from society reveals the poor moral codes and misguided assumptions of white society along with providing insight into this hypocritical system. Through his constantly high moral standards Jim reveals the moral wrongs the supposedly elevated white society commits. In chapter twenty four Jim tells Huck the thing he is most ashamed of is hitting his daughter when she turned out to be deaf; at the same time the King and Duke have no problem stealing from orphans, “If they weren’t the beatenest lot, them two frauds, that I ever struck”(163). This contradiction of morals shows Jim as the moral superior. Jim struck his daughter not out of spite but as a disciplinary action, and once he learns his child was deaf and didn’t understand his instructions he felt a serious remorse for his deed. The King and Duke however are acting sinfully with only their own well being in mind and no matter how unsettling and shameful their pursuits they find no remorse within themselves. Another contradiction of ethics is revealed after the King, the Duke and Huck all nearly escape being hung, “Did you inquire after around for him after you got lose?” (206). Here the King’s disregard for the safety of anyone but himself becomes blatantly obvious to the reader revealing his moral integrity to be virtually nonexistent. Jim however risks both his...
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