Educated vs. Uneducated, The Slave Belongs Where?
"Tom said we'd got to; there warn't no case of a state prisoner not scrabbling his inscription to leave behind, and his coat of arms. …
"Jim's got to do his inscription and coat of arms. They all do."
"Why, Mars Tom, I hain't got no coat o' arms; I hain't got nuffn but dish-yer ole shirt, en you knows I got to keep de journal on dat." " - Samuel Clemens, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Chapter 38
Here is your classic case of something I learned about in Assessment a few weeks ago - acculturation. No teacher should automatically make an assumption about a student based off of their culturally background. A good example of this would be seen in the following:
A teacher asks a student what the four seasons are, and the student answers, "Duck, deer, turkey, and bear."
This does not imply that the student is ignorant or mentally retarded. It simply means that the student was brought up learning that the hunting seasons WERE the seasons.
The same situation follows with Jim. Just because he says that he doesn't have a coat of arms in the sense that he doesn't have a clothing article coat, this doesn't mean that he is unintelligent. Rather, it actually proves a fact that he is very intelligent, as the reader is able to deduce from the beginning with the hairball oracle incident.