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In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Huck goes through a moral and physical journey which challenges his past beliefs and morals and develops new ways of thinking for himself. Because of Hucks lack of a father figure, Jim takes the role of an influential role model (despite Jim being black). He teaches Huck many important life lessons, such as being a kind and compassionate human being. Due to Hucks upbringing in a family who patronized slavery, it took time for Huck to have respect for Jim. There were different stages to Hucks moral development. When the novel starts, Huck thinks Jim to be a stupid uneducated slave who had no feelings.
The first time that Huck really breaks away from his preconceived notions of Jim is when Huck tries to play the trick on Jim when theyre separated on the river and Huck lies to Jim about what is happening. What Jim says to Huck really lets Huck know how Jim feels about him. When I got all wore out wid work, en wid de callin for you, en went to sleep, my heart wuz mos broke bekase you wuz losEn all you wuz thinkin bout wuz how you could make a fool uv ole Jim wid a lie This is the first time that Huck genuinely feels sorry for something he has done to Jim. Because of this realization, it shows Huck that Jim isnt just a dumb slave with no feelings, rather that he has very strong feelings, especially for Huck. Consequently Huck feels extremely sorry for what he has done. I didnt do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldnt done that if Id knowed it would make him feel that way. After that incident, Huck not only starts to make real strides towards viewing Jim as an equal, but also makes his own decisions about how he views people. He realizes that the dumb and uneducated arent the slaves, but instead are the sleazy scum of society who profit at others expense.
Another step in Hucks moral journey is when he is assigned a slave to wait on him at the Grangerfords house. Although this would make things easier, Huck doesnt fall into the habit of using his slave. My nigger had a monstrous easy time, because I warnt used to have anybody do anything for me. This is a good test of Hucks character. By not falling into the habit of using the slave this allowes him to progress in his moral journey. The climactic incident which completed Hucks moral journey was when he had to make the decision weather or not to send the letter to Miss Watson disclosing where Jim was, and instead deciding to go to hell for Jim. I took it up, and held it in my hand.
I was a trembling, because Id 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, Ill go to hell- and tore it up. This quote showed how important Jim was to Huck and how far Huck had grown as a free thinker and a compassionate person. This was the pivotal moment when Huck did what he thought to be the right thing and went against the conventional beliefs about slavery. Jim doesnt act as a father figure to Huck because he doesnt have the nurturing characteristics needed to be a good father. However he does play the most influential role model in Hucks life.
Jim is the inspiration of not only Hucks moral growth but also his attitudes and behavior. Bibliography:.
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