Relationships

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I am having a blast reading Huck's awesome words.  For example "sentimentering" (129).  His use of "rapscallions" (133) also amused me.  It doesn't really seem like a word Huck would use fully knowing the meaning, but his mentioning of "good people takes the most interest in" (133) lets us know that he's really just saying what he's heard before.  "Preforeordestination" (171) was also pretty entertaining and I actually had to re-read the word a couple times to make sure I had read it properly.  While Huck may not be fully educated, I would say it's takes a special mind to create a word like that.

Jim's intelligence also surprised me.  Even though I have read this book before (many years ago) I don't think I recognized the role that Jim plays for Huck.  Besides is outstanding superstitions, Jim reaches many conclusions about what's happening before Huck does.  Jim knows how the world works, on pages 133 and 134 Huck talks about how Jim knew everything was "up with him" because he was going to be found and sold back home.
It's an odd intelligence though.  Huck tries to explain to Jim the story of King Soloman (135) and fails miserably at it.  Jim only understands the facts of the story, not the morals.  Things like this continue when Huck convinces Jim he dreamt the storm (141).  However, once Jim realizes that Huck was trying to fool him, he makes Huck feel really bad about tricking a friend.
Huck later compliments Jim by saying "had a wonderful level head, for a nigger" (143).

Ultimately, the two need each other to get where they are going.  Each time they are split, the meet back up.  They listen to each other and consider the needs of both (in the end).  It's a very odd relationship between a runaway slave, and a runaway boy.  One can also see the relationship between adult and child, even though Jim is not a white male.  People of the time would consider him less worthy of praise since he is black, but Twain makes him important to Huck, thus important to the story.

2 Comments

KatieLantz said:

I also think Jim is important to the story in the way that he cares for Huck. Jim is always pulling double-duty, cooking him something to eat, or waiting to shove the raft into the river. Both Huck and Jim have a responsibility to each other. Huck ensures that Jim doesn't get taken back by slave traders, and Jim watches over Huck.

But I also think there's much more to it. It wouldn't be the same story without them both. Huck wouldn't have made it as far without Jim, and he might not have gone at all.

Jennifer Prex said:

Even if there had been any question about how important Jim is to Huck, Twain completely clears that up when he has Huck more or less exclaim that he would rather go to hell rather than turn Jim in. They do seem to have a dependence on each other that neither can really ignore. I agree that they probably wouldn't have made it very far if they had tried to travel without each other.

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Jennifer Prex on Relationships: Even if there had been any que
KatieLantz on Relationships: I also think Jim is important