Jim as a True Hero

Essay by dhalovaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, November 2004

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Even though, the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written as a sequence to the other famous Twain's novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, it is anything else but a children's book. Filled with social, racial, and religious problems, this novel will rather exhaust the children than entertain them. The title of the novel reveals undoubtedly who the main character of the novel will be - Huck. However, sometimes people tend to confuse the term "character" with the term "hero", probably because in most of the stories, poems or novels the main character is the hero. Nevertheless, Mark Twain breaks this common pattern of writing by making Jim the true hero of the novel. The runaway slave shines with his courage, nobility of motives, and pureness. He is ready to sacrifice and risk his life for the sake of the others. Jim is the example that Huck follows, the person who cares most about Huck and protects him, and the person who helped the boy grow up into a well-rounded human being.

The action in the novel takes place shortly before the Civil War, when the issue of slavery was widely discussed (Zwick). In order to escape in such uneasy times, when runaway slaves were killed or brutally punished, one must posses extraordinary courage and/or noble aim. And that is exactly the case with Jim. He had never before considered the idea of running away but when "I [he] hear ole missus tell the wider she gwyne to sell me [him] down to Orleans" (Twain 50) he takes the bravest decision in his life - to escape and free his relatives. In this way he will no longer be forced to worry about whether he will see his family again. His only wish and motive in this moment...