from chapter 7: '' I Go To Bristol''
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The squire fixed up the inn and found a boy to take Jim's place at his mother's side. It is not until Jim sees this boy, whom he treats very harshly, that he realizes that he is indeed going to be gone for a prolonged period of time. The boy symbolizes Jim's childhood and the fact that no longer will he merely be a help at the family's inn, but he has been forced to grow up through circumstances that were of no fault of their own. The boy, therefore, represents what Jim used to be, something that he cannot return to.