In chapter 42, what do we find out about Jim? Why did Tom work so hard to free Jim?
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In Chapter 42, we find out that Jim has been free ever since Miss Watson died and freed him in her will. Apparently Miss Watson was so ashamed about planning to sell Jim that she felt it best to set him free. Tom believed his help in setting Jim free was a great adventure, and that it didn't hurt anyone because he was already free anyway.
Tom learns that Jim was willing to sacrifice his freedom to help take care of Tom. Ultimately, the men in the town would like to hang Jim, but they do not because they might have to repay the master of the runaway slave. Tom works hard because he realizes that Jim is, indeed, a good person and works to do him the good deed Jim has done him.