What do you think
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Here is one viewpoint:
We never really get to know Jim. We hear him speak. We see him act. But, that is it. We have no idea if he says what he thinks or what he thinks Huck should think he should say. We do not know if he had Huck wear the dress because he thought Huck would be so embarrassed to do the assigned task that he would disappear or if He really wanted Huck to get the information. We have no idea what is deep inside.
Jim is someone we can only see from the outside. Faulkner did the same thing in one of his novels. He showed what three white men were like from the inside. He presented a black man from the outside. Mark Twain did not create the character of Jim. He successfully displayed Jim.
I think that by Jim's actions we do learn about him. There is enough textual evidence to support Jim as the only truly loyal and "nice" character in the book. There is a sense of innocense about him that the other characters, including Huck, do not posess. I think Twain meant to create this character and certainly pulled it off.
I think Twain does a very good job of portraying Jim as a real person (as opposed to a flat, stereotypical character). His story of discovering that his daughter was deaf is particularly touching. He cares a lot about Huck and sticks by him when he could have run off many times.