The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

I Spare Miss Watson's Jim

"But you knowed he was running for his freedom, and you could a paddled ashore and told somebody" (Twain 95). As is epitomized by the preceding quote, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain one of the central conflicts is that of the character of Huck's battle with his conscience in regard to the question of slavery. Throughout the novel the author slowly changes Huck's mind about the ethics of slavery by introducing him into situations where black people are taken out of their stereotypical roles. To a great extent, Huck's revelations about slavery are due to his friendship with Jim, a runaway slave who used to belong to Miss Watson, the Widow Douglas' sister. As a young boy, Huck does not have all the prejudices of the older members of the Southern community, yet he does know that aiding a runaway slave is legally wrong. Thus, it is a pivotal moment indeed when Huck first discovers Jim on Jackson Island, as his decision to "spare" Jim drastically changes the direction in which the novel is proceeding and sets the stage for much of Huck's maturation and development as a character.

After having staged his own death Huck goes to Jackson Island to lie low for a while. When he...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 747 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4495 literature essays, 1451 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in