The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Jim as a racist stereotype. True/Untrue?

Need an answer to this, not sure if I"ll get one in time before this assignment is due, however I can hope.

Some readers have argued that Jim is just a racist stereotype. Do you agree with that? What great moments of moral dignity does Jim have in the course of the story?

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Hey, I suppose there are racist stereotypes in Jim, especially now. I think, as with most literary works, we must keep this in context. Twain's stereotypical depiction of Jim originates from traditions of his time: “Writing at a time when the blackfaced minstrel was still popular, and shortly after a war which left even the abolitionists weary of those problems associated with the Negro, Twain fitted Jim into the outlines of the minstrel tradition . . . ” Twain wrote this book in 1884 only fourteen years after Blacks were granted citizenship. Whites still looked upon Blacks as sub-human. The pain of the Civil-War was still raw. So yes, Jim is full of racial stereotypes but for the time I think his character was rather progressive. Jim has the only functional family in the book. He misses his wife and kids terribly. Jim has a sense of the natural world, like on Jackson's Island that Huck does not have. Jim also shows a sense of friendship and loyalty not really scene amongst the white characters.


Oh thank you so much. That link and your answered really helped me out here, haha. <3 I'm forever grateful, it was my last question!

Glad to help!

I have another if you'd like to tackle it!

Examine Jim's and especially Huck's feelings about the Mississippi (notice that in talking about the river Huck is always at his most reverent and poetic). How is the river a sort of god to

Huck? Does it feed him? Does it have godlike powers to preserve and destroy? What is the status of conventional religion in this novel, especially in the discourse for Miss Watson in those opening chapters? Does Huck turn to the river partly because conventional religion has failed him?