Mark Twain And Adventures Of Huck Finn
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Mark Twain And Adventures Of Huck Finn
In the novel by Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the two main
characters, Huck and Jim, are strongly linked. Their relation is portrayed by
various sides, some of them good and some others bad. But the essential interest
of that relation is the way that uses the author to describe it. Even if he had
often been misunderstood, Twain always implied a message behind the themes
developed around Huck and Jim. The first encounter between Huck Finn and Jim is
at the beginning of the book, when Huckís friend, Tom Sawyer, tries to fool
Jim, Miss Watsonís slave. Huck and Jim still donít know each other, but Huck
isnít biased against the old slave. Itís an important point because, as
racism was a widely held mentality in the South, we can learn that that young
boy was more open-minded than most people there. Later, they find themselves in
the same situation. As they were escaping from the civilized world, they take
refuge in the Jacksonís Island, on the Mississippi river. Huck is running away
from a bad father and Jim has leaved Miss Watson because he didnít want to be
sold to New Orleans. Soon after joining Jim on the island, Huck begins to
realize that Jim has more talents and intelligence than Huck has been aware of.
Jim knows "all kinds of signs" about the future, people\'s
personalities, and weather forecasting. Huck finds this kind of information
necessary as he and Jim drift down the Mississippi on a raft. As important, Huck
feels a comfort with Jim that he has not felt with the other major characters in
the novel. With Jim, Huck can enjoy the best aspects of his earlier influences.
Jim\'s meaning to Huck changes as they proceed through their adventure. He starts
out as an extra person just to take on the journey, but they transform into a
friend. "It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and
humble myself to a nigger."(chap. XV) Huck tries to squeal on Jim but can\'t
because he remembers that Jim called him "de bes\' fren\' I ever had;...de
on\'y white genlman dat ever kep\' his promise to ole Jim."(chap. XVI) Huck
realizes that he can not turn Jim in since they both act as runaway outcasts on
the river. The support they have for each other sprouts friendship. As does the
Widow, Jim allows Huck security, but Jim is not as confining as is the Widow.
Like Tom Sawyer, Jim is intelligent but his intelligence is not as intimidating
or as imaginary as is Tom\'s. As does Pap, Jim allows Huck freedom, but he does
it in a loving, rather than an uncaring, fashion. Thus, early, in their
relationship on Jackson\'s Island, Huck says to Jim, "This is nice. I
wouldn\'t want to be nowhere else but here." This feeling is in marked
contrast with Huck\'s feelings concerning other people in the early part of the
novel where he always is uncomfortable and wishes to leave them. The lack of
comfort is also shared by Jim. As a slave, he truly feels like an outcast.
Considering the context of the United States at that period, during the slavery
conflict, we easily understand the situation of Jim. And one of the main ideas
of this Mark Twainís masterpiece deals with a multiracial coupleís story.
The relationship between black and white was hardly accepted in the 1830ís.
Such an adventure, two male characters, with opposite colour of skin, striking
up a friendship, was considered as a provocation by the society. The author
knows that very well and will try, through his two heroes, to denounce the
drifting of the Nation. Irony is his main weapon against that obscurantism. He
uses it as often as possible. For instance, on chapter XIV, Huck tries to
explain to Jim why a Frenchman is a man, even if he speaks differently. The
ironical feature comes from the fact that this black slave doesnít understand
the equality of all people, whereas himself isnít considered equal by the
white. Besides, another ironical aspect is that we think first, in that chapter,
that the white boy will civilize the black man whereas weíll discover further
that it is the contrary. First person brings the reader a more innocent side of
the story, so the reader feels more compassion for the small boy. The symbolic
image falls into play between Huck and Jim, "...en trash is what people is
dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren\'s en makes \'em ashamed..."(chap. XV),
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