Although Jim and Huck seem to lead two very different lives, their pairing created a significant relationship. In the beginning of the novel the diversity is obvious. They aren’t seen as equals and in that societal time they went supposed to have any type of relationship. Jim stepped in, in a way, to comfort and protect Huck after his father was found dead. This, along with challenges at home created a new dynamic. Huck and Jim began to lead similar lives, reaching for the same goal: freedom. As they adventure down the Mississippi River, they bonded as they went through many challenges and struggles. This created a father-son type dynamic. This pairing not only broke societal boundaries but it also created a dependable and strong pairing. They found themselves and freedom with eachother. Tom and Huck being friends was a big part of the novel. One major thing that they have in common is that they are both orphans. This friendship represents how like people stuck together and they understood each other. Huck greatly admired Tom and enjoyed spending time with him. Although they seem very similar they do have a few differences which I believe represent something significant. Tom took most things as face value; he believes in what society taught him and he didn’t question much. On the other hand, Huck questioned and examined everything. I think that as a pair they represent the two approaches to societal conflict.
In this novel disguises are used in a few different ways. Huck and Jim used disguises in order to not be spotted when they were on their journey to freedom. This protected them from being caught. The Duke and King used disguises to cheat and deceive. Which they successfully accomplished. Multiple identities and aliases are useful to Twain’s characters throughout the story to achieve their reasoning for using a disguise. in order to survive, in order to achieve freedom.
The accounts of thieves and dishonesty in the novel serve the purpose of showing the meaningfulness of what is being done. In the second chapter Tom reveals that there is a sense of honor that comes with robbery. One example that is prominent in the story that represents honor through robbery is the “robbery” of Jim. They “stole” Jim and brought him to freedom. Other examples that are not so much honorable would be like the shipwreck robbery. The king and Duke who stole from anyone and everyone. They were menaces in this society. This shows the times that they were living in. I also believe it represents a type of wrong ideology.
The villains of the novel are Pap Finn, the Duke and the King. Pap Finn was mostly uncaring and cruel. Pap acted out of selfishness as an alcoholic and only cared for himself. He is an abusive and neglective parent therefore opposing Finn and the exact opposite to what Jim stepped in as. The Duke and King are villains because they are immoral and manipulative. They steal and cheat everyone. They cause many issues in the novel, oppose and oppress.
The heroes of the novel are Huckleberry Finn and Jim. Huck is heroic thought out the story. His main opposition was oppression of the slaves. He did fight against societal norms and wanted freedom. A major heroic movement for Huck was helping Jim to freedom. Throughout the novel he fights for what is right. Jim is heroic in this novel because he steps in as a father figure for Huck. When his father was abusive and then turned up dead, Jim was there when his father opposed him.
My favorite quotation from the novel is found in chapter 31, Huck says “I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: “All right, then, I’ll go to hell”- and tore it up.” (pg. 137-138). I feel as though this is a very pivotal quote in the novel. At this specific point in the story Huck is struggling trying to figure out what the right thing is to do. Does he tell Miss Watson where Jim is, or does he remain loyal to his friend? It is essential to realize that in this society it was not okay for people to withhold or help slaves. Therefore, Huck was told if you did this you would go to hell. This quote is so essential to this pivotal moment because it shows that he is willing to go to at great lengths to protect Jim because he knows in his heart that slavery is wrong. This attributes to the overall theme of the novel because the theme points directly to the immorality of slavery and how Huck fought for what is right. Huck tearing up the note not only represents loyalty but also a fight against injustice. It shows that Huck is going against the societal norms at such a great risk in order to protect what he believes in.
- Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. 1885.