The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

A Racial Revolution

Written during a time in which racial inequality is the norm, and people of color are looked upon as lesser beings, Mark Twain, in his landmark novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, pens a character in Jim who is the epitome of restrained maturity and understated grace. With the constant threat of being discovered and subsequently returned to his "owner," Mrs. Watson, Jim maintains his remarkably composed demeanor, and serves as a surrogate father to the wild and uncontainable title character. While Jim does not play the marquee role in novel, he is in fact the most integral character, and may possibly be the only true responsible adult in the entire novel. A testament to Twain's forward thinking, Jim functions as an intermediary between the uncultivated Huck and the outside world, while at the same time fighting for his own freedom and the right to live unburdened with his family. Thought of as more than a simple slave, as most blacks were in the time frame of Huck Finn, Jim garners unusual respect; "He was more looked up to than any nigger in that country. Strange niggers would stand with their mouths open and look him all over, same as if he were a wonder" (6-7). This esteem is not solely from...

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