Role of Jim in Huckleberry Finn Essay

1119 Words Mar 5th, 2013 5 Pages
Honors American Literature
13 December 2012
Role of Jim in Huckleberry Finn During the late 1800’s post civil war, the reconstruction era surfaced in the union. The reconstruction, a political program designed to reintegrate the defeated South into the Union as a slavery-free region, began to fail. The North imposed harsh measures, which only embittered the South. Concerned about maintaining power, many Southern politicians began an effort to control and oppress the black men and women whom the war had freed. At around this time, Mark Twain released his novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which a young boy named Huckleberry Finn attempts to flee the South with an escaped slave, Jim. The novel follows the pair on their journey
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This could be connected to the point where Jim tosses a rag over Pap’s dead body. This rag that Jim places on Pap’s face is a symbol for the exchange of fatherhood over Huck. Jim believed that Huck could be a chance to redeem himself. By covering up the old father and being the only grown man at the moment of transition, Jim shifts into a state of fatherhood. Jim first displays his fatherly archetype when Jim and Huck come upon the tilted house with the body inside. Twain writes, “It’s a dead man. Yes, indeedy; naked too. He’s been shot in de back. I reck’n he’s been dead two or three days. Come in, Huck, but doan look at his face - it’s too gashly” (Twain 56). After Jim discovers the dead body, Jim allows Huck to come into the house, but he warns Huck to not look at the body. Huck states that he doesn’t need any warning because he is already disturbed at the dead man, but the next day, Huck wants to talk about the man’s mysterious death. This is unusual for Huck to be so interested in, as he stated earlier that he “[doesn’t] take no stock in dead people” (Twain 2). At this point, Twain uses Huck’s intuition in the unusual death to point out the large significance in it, which Jim also picks up on. When Jim sees paps “gashly” face, he discerns the fact that there is an open patriarchal position for Huck.
Since then, Jim tries to ease into the transition to fatherhood. He does so by
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