Hero Comparison: Jim The Slave And Atticus Finch

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'... Never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.' (Lee 16) That quote was the wise words of Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird and is probably one of the things we all should know. Jim from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn also thinks like Atticus when he says Huck’s Pap floating down the river dead and says to Huck to not look at the face so Huck did not have to get emotional over it. They both know what to do at the right times while both being very different. First, we have to get to know these characters. Atticus Finch is the father of Jem and Scout living in Maycomb, Alabama. Atticus is a very calm and wise person from the things he says to the things he does. Atticus does everything with a gleam in his eye and no regrets because he does what's right which makes him a willing hero. Jim, on the other hand, is a slave from St. Petersburg, Missouri who is owned by Miss Watson. Jim is a very kind person even though he gets criticized all the time for being black. Jim helps Huck through so many things even to the point of risking his life for him which also makes Jim a willing hero. Jim and Atticus are heroes because of the reason that the authors wrote them and their heroic qualities.

First, Jim and Atticus were written into this book for the purposes of displaying certain themes. Atticus had the themes of racism is bad and that good and evil can live together. “I’m simply defending a Negro—his name’s Tom Robinson.” (Lee 41) That quote is one of the first parts that talks about racism. Atticus goes on and talks to Scout about the trial and says “The main one is, if I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again.” (Lee 41) That says that Atticus would be so ashamed of not representing a black man that he would have thought of himself as a bad man and tell Jem or Scout what to do.

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Atticus also shows that evil can live together when Bob Ewell goes and spits in the face of Atticus. “It was Miss Stephanie’s pleasure to tell us: this morning Mr. Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post office corner, spat in his face, and told him he’d get him if it took the rest of his life.” (Lee 115) is the time when we see that they can live together in this world together but not in harmony all the time. Atticus shows that you have to keep calm against the evil when he says “So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that’s something I’ll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I’d rather it be me than that houseful of children out there.” (Lee 116) Atticus has just told us that evil can live together without problems if you know why they are doing evil.

On the other hand, Jim also had the theme of racism is bad but he also had the theme of people are different depending on where they are. Jim represents the racism is bad theme by just being a slave. Jim just wanted to be free and buy his family back so he could start a happy life just like everybody else. They had to dress Jim up as a sick Arab so he would not get captured or harassed for being black like how Huck says in the line “He dressed Jim up in King Lear’s outfit—it was a long curtain-calico gown, and a white horse-hair wig and whiskers; and then he took his theater paint and painted Jim’s face and hands and ears and neck all over a dead, dull, solid blue, like a man that’s been drownded nine days.” (Twain 160) That alone shows that racism has brought him to hide so he would not be captured. The town also immediately thought since he was missing when Huck was murdered that it was him and not Pap who was always drunk and was a horrible father as said in this “Well, next day they found out the nigger was gone; they found out he hadn’t ben seen sence ten o’clock the night the murder was done.” (Twain 59)

The town did not even look into it and instead thought it was Jim because he was a slave. He also represents the difference in people when they are in different places. Jim is not the one being different but he is the main person being affected by this. Huck really is the one changing but Jim is the one that is being affected. “When we was ten foot off Tom whispered to me, and wanted to tie Jim to the tree for fun.” (Twain 6) This is the first time when we see the racism in Huck and how it affects Jim by scaring him. They tied him to a tree and put his hat on the branch of a tree so he would think it was witches. They know Jim will believe this because Jim does not understand that people can lie to what happens which is why this affects Jim. “Jim won't ever forgit you, Huck; you's de bes' fren' Jim's ever had; en you's de only fren' ole Jim's got now.' (Twain 92) This quote is showing how much Jim likes Huck.

Huck accepts this while they are alone and not by other people. Huck acts differently when he was just with Jim then when he was on the land with others because Jim was black. Jim was the deciding factor on how he should act which shows that Jim is really representing this. Jim and Atticus are both showing that racism is bad which is a very important theme that some people in this world still can not seem to grasp. Just those characters show that to perfection and ho it should not be a thing anymore but it will probably continue until this world ends. The other themes, evil and good can live together and people act differently around certain people, represent the differences in others that we as humans all need to change. All of the people in this world have evil and good but one may show more than the other. Harper Lee wants people to see that evil should not live in us and that we need to show the good and never show evil. Other people act differently around certain people is what we all do as humans and is a bad habit that we need to stop. Being different around other people is just hiding who we really are. That is why Atticus and Jim are written into these stories.

The final comparison between these two heroes is their heroic qualities. Atticus and Jim have heroic qualities such as bravery and knowing the difference between right and wrong. Those are the qualities they share.

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Hero Comparison: Jim The Slave And Atticus Finch. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/hero-comparison-jim-the-slave-and-atticus-finch/
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