The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

What is unusual about Jim's reaction when he finds that Jim is missing? What does this reaction suggest about his feelings toward Jim?

Chapters 23-32

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In Chapter 31, Huck returns to the raft, but when he arrives Jim is gone. A young man on the road tells him Jim, a runaway slave, was just captured and sold to the Phelps family, down the road. Huck realizes that in an effort to make some money, the King had snuck back to the raft while he and the Duke had been searching for him, took Jim, sold him for forty dollars, and returned to the town to drink.

Huck sits down and contemplates his next move. He is torn between his friendship for Jim and his belief that helping a runaway slave is a sin. Huck finally writes a letter to Miss Watson explaining where Jim is. Not quite satisfied, he thinks about it some more, and, in one of the most dramatic scenes in the novel, rips apart the letter saying, "All right, then, I'll go to hell!"

Huck sees Jim as far more than a slave; he sees him as a friend and a bond has been forged between them due to their experiences. Huck is no longer afraid of societal expectations as is evident in his above comment, "All right, then, I'll go to hell!" This is the moment where he truly matures as a character and decides nothing is more important than to stand up for what he believes.