The relationship between Huckleberry Finn and Jim are central to Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Huck's relationships with individual characters are unique in their own way; however, his relationship with Jim is one that is ever changing and sincere. As a poor, uneducated boy, Huck distrusts the morals and intentions of the society that treats him as an outcast and fails to protect him from abuse. The uneasiness about society, and his growing relationship with Jim, leads Huck to question many of the teachings that he has received, especially concerning race and slavery. Twain makes it evident that Huck is a young boy who comes from the lowest levels of white society. Huck's father, Pap, is a drunk who disappears for months on end, and yet the new judge allows Pap to keep custody of Huck. The judge privileges Pap with the right to his son because he is his natural father.
"Pap shows[s] noisomely the meanest qualities of his class: superstitious, alcoholic, and shiftless" (Budd 473). Pap is a good example of the imbalanced perceptions of race and thoughts of that particular race can be. The community has failed to protect him. Huck's distance from society makes him question and become skeptical of the world around him and the ideas it passes on to him. Huck often knows better than the adults around him, even though he is missing the assistance that a suitable family and community can present to him. Huck's distrust of the society that surrounds him becomes increasingly clear as he travels down the river with Jim. He is able to view society for the first time in actuality. Due to the fact that, Huck is a compassionate young boy, he battles racism and the hypocrisy of society through his relationship with Jim.