Essay on the development of the theme of loyalty in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain) through the actions of a young boy's abandoning class-lines in the racist antebellum years.

Essay by BillyLuke21High School, 10th gradeA+, May 2004

download word file, 4 pages 4.2

Loyalty is a state of devoted attachment to someone or something. Loyalty is perhaps one of the most admirable qualities one can have; it is not only a measure of one's true character, but one's decisions as well. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there is no greater loyalty than that which exists between young Huck Finn and Jim. Jim demonstrates his loyalty to Huck by remaining with Huck as almost a paternal figure once he misses his turn on the river for Cairo, thereby continuing deeper into the hazardous South. Huck, in turn, demonstrates his loyalty to Jim by returning for Jim once Jim is taken captive. By doing so, Huck also demonstrates his loyalty to humanity through his betrayal of racism. In Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain develops the theme that loyalty is measured through one's actions in times of crisis by having Huckleberry break class lines and befriend a runaway slave in the racist antebellum years.

Jim's loyalty to Huck is best demonstrated through Jim's decisions on the river. Jim, who is a runaway slave, heading to Cairo in search of work and his family, is heading downriver with Huck and misses his turn for Cairo. Jim's decision to remain with Huck costs him a chance to find work and a chance to find his family, whom he dearly misses. Their mistake in navigation also leads the duo farther South into slave territory, bringing potentially hazardous situations for a runaway slave. Jim's loyalty is reinforced later on in their adventures, as Jim passes his greatest opportunity for freedom in order to find medical attention for the wounded Tom Sawyer. Jim's loyalty to the two young boys simultaneously contradicts racial stereotypes while affirming the consequences may accompany decisions of loyalty.

Huck's loyalty to...