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The Features Of Human Relationships In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published after the abolition of slavery in the United States, however the story is set before the Civil War, where slavery is legal and is the system that keeps the American South booming. Throughout the novel, Twain uses Jim, a runaway slave, to demonstrate the humanity of slaves. In contrast, Twain splits his other main characters into two groups: those who profit directly from slavery such as the slaveowners Miss Watson, the Grangerford household and the Phelps family, and those who profit indirectly from slavery, such as the Duke and the King who ultimately sell Jim to the Phelps family in exchange for the reward money.

When Jim is first introduced, he is using an ox fur hair ball to help Huckleberry Finn determine if Pap is going to stay in town. Jim makes an offering to the hair ball, then listens to what it has to say. The hair ball tells Jim that Pap is fighting between “two angles,” one white and one black. Meaning that Pap, is struggling between his good side and his evil side. This scene illustrates that Jim believes in a higher power. Jim’s religion is very different when compared to Christianity, however, both religions share the moral dilemma of struggling to suppress the evilness that exists within one’s soul. By showing that Jim can practice a strict religion, the reader is able to sympathize with him using their own religion.

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Further in the novel, Huckleberry Finn discovers Jim has runaway from his owner, Miss Watson, because she is going to sell him to another slave owner in New Orleans. Jim does not want to be separated from his wife and children, who are slaves at a neighboring planation, so he decides to escape to the North, where he will be a free man. Once he is free, he will try to earn enough money to purchase the freedom of his wife and children. In the South, slaveowners make large profits off the institution of slavery, while the slaves are ignored, oppressed, and subjected to physical and mental abuse. White slaveowners, rationalize the mistreatment of slaves by assuming that people of African descent are mentally inferior to them, and that they are more animalistic than human. When Huckleberry Finn, fakes his death to escape his violent and abusive father, Pap, Jim is automatically assumed to have killed him based purely off speculation that he ran away for killing Huck Finn and his racial identity.

Throughout the novel, Huckleberry Finn struggles with whether he should turn in Jim for running away, as he has a legal and societal obligation to do so. However, as he spends more time with Jim, he begins to see that slaves are capable of human feelings such as love, happiness, and pain. This can be seen in the scene where Jim is crying because he misses his family, especially his daughter, who was unnecessarily mean too until he realized she was deaf and not a stubborn child.

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The Features Of Human Relationships In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 1, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-features-of-human-relationships-in-the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn/
“The Features Of Human Relationships In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-features-of-human-relationships-in-the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn/
The Features Of Human Relationships In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-features-of-human-relationships-in-the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn/> [Accessed 1 Dec. 2022].
The Features Of Human Relationships In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2022 Dec 1]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-features-of-human-relationships-in-the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn/
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