Complementing Characters

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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"It is wrong to judge a person by their skin color." This statement has been made many times in today's society, unlike the people of the Pre Civil War times. Those people of the past judged others by their ethnicity. This proves to be true in the novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn".

In one instance in the novel Huck makes a fool of Jim by playing a trick on his so called "friend". In Jim's response to Huck's trick, it is clear to see that Jim is a loyal and good-hearted man. He says ""¦ My heart wuz most broke bekase you we los', and I didn' kyer' no mo' what become er me"¦". Jim has a very strong character, which is commendable because of the lack of people who possess a character like his. Many people of today and of the past would have not felt so strongly about a "friend".

Huck and Jim's relationship never started as friends, they started at a master and slave like level. Huck felt that he was superior to Jim because of the fact that he was a slave.

Playing the trick on Jim show Huck's immaturity and his belief that slaves were dim-witted. He, like many other average children of the 1800's, were fed this principle since their births. When hearing Jim's response, Huck becomes confused because it what he thought was right to do was the total opposite of the belief preached to him as a youngster. But since Huck is brave he realizes that it was wrong to think that Jim was "trash". This passage is one of the places in the novel where Huck's character changes. Jim's response makes him think about right and wrong; a concept he has not fully developed.

Through Jim's words it is evident that he is a simple minded character, comparable to a young child. Yet unlike an adolescent he knows about the important things in life; trust, friendship, right and wrong. Jim shows compassion for Huck when he finds him safe and tears come rolling down his checks from his eyes. His broken heart is an example of caring nature towards Huck. He believes that they are friends and because of that he never thought that Huck would ever do such a thing. He trusted Huck with a friendship. At the end of Jim's response he show that he believes Huck thinks he is "trash". Huck makes Jim feel like a "fool" and is ashamed of their friendship. Jim is very human, and is not what Huck expected. He thought that being a slave meant that Jim had no feelings what so ever. His realization slowly comes through the plot and through his realization matures into a better person.

Both Huck and Jim have strong character; in some ways different and in others the same. Their positives and negatives complement each other. Their characters help both of them see life in a different light. An opportunity few people have.