The relationship between Huckleberry Finn and Jim are central to Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Huck's relationships with individual characters are unique in their own way; however, his relationship with Jim is one that is ever changing and sincere. As a poor, uneducated boy, Huck distrusts the morals and intentions of the society that treats him as an outcast and fails to protect him from abuse. The uneasiness about society, and his growing relationship with Jim, leads Huck to question many of the teachings that he has received, especially concerning race and slavery. Twain makes it evident that Huck is a young boy who comes from the lowest levels of white society. Huck's father, Pap, is a drunk who disappears for months on end, and yet the new judge allows Pap to keep custody of Huck. The judge privileges Pap with the right to his son because he is his natural father. "Pap shows[s] noisomely the meanest qualities of his class: superstitious, alcoholic, and shiftless" (Budd 473). Pap is a good example of the imbalanced perceptions of race and thoughts of that particular race can be. The community has failed to protect him. Huck's distance from society makes him question and become skeptical of the world around him and the ideas it passes on to him. Huck often knows better than the adults around him, even though he is missing the assistance that a suitable family and community can present to him. Huck's distrust of the society that surrounds him becomes increasingly clear as he travels down the river with Jim. He is able to view society for the first time in actuality. Due to the fact that, Huck is a compassionate young boy, he battles racism and the hypocrisy of society through his relationship with Jim.
Huck Finn represents the greatest capability that man encompasses, and that is turning into a sensitive, deliberating person rather than a complete product of society. Huck remains accepting of new ideas, and he refuses to completely accept the assumptions that the people around him comprise. Even though Widow Douglas considers Huck as a lost child; he acknowledges the idea that she has his best interest at heart. Huck's intelligence, willingness, and his ability to think through a situation lead him to certain conclusions that are correct, but would appall the white society that surrounds him. Huck and Jim's relationship begins with the incident in the Widow's garden. Tom wants to tie Jim up, but Huck objects. Huck is consistently dealing with moral dilemmas; he does not want to tie Jim up even though Tom does. When Huck is in the presence of Tom it becomes extremely difficult for Huck to stay true to his morals and ideals because he is still just a young boy, and becomes vulnerable to people who are of his age. Unlike his relationship with Jim, Huck does not feel the comfort that he feels when he is in the presence of Jim. He is witnessing the spoils of society, Jim belongs to Widow Douglas, and yet he believes that deep down Widow is a woman who has good intentions. Huck has come to terms with the fact that it takes a strong person not to fall so easily into prejudices and assumptions. He views Widow Douglas as a person who is just blinded by nature. Huck is surrounded with people around him who are consistently making him to put thought into his views about certain aspects of the society that he resides in. When Jim is captured Huck's mind is flooded with thoughts of Jim which cause him to give into his conscience, and decides to help Jim. Huck goes with the most powerful motivation to set Jim free no matter what the cost may be for him. "Huck's final decision to help Jim escape represents Huck's belief in and affirmation of Jim's humanity" (Mason 36). Huck has not only come to the realization that Jim is a real person, but that they have developed a very unique relationship. "[Huck's decision to 'go to hell' for Jim is but an indication that racial prejudice was slowly becoming psychically...
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