Huck Finn Who Is the Term Paper

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In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain provides poignant social commentary about the institution of slavery as well as about racism. Huck's tentative love for Jim illustrates that although he felt a moral obligation to help Jim that Huck was not immune from the prevailing beliefs in white supremacy that characterize the social context of the novel. Huckleberry Finn's historical context is therefore the pre-Civil War Southern society. In addition to slavery being part of the historical context, economic realities are also central to the novel. For example, Twain portrays the differences between poor white culture and wealthy white culture in the differences between Huck Finn and his friend Tom Sawyer. Moreover, Huck's desire to move out West at the end of the novel describes a historical context in which the West was still the final frontier, symbolic of new opportunity and total freedom.

4. What is Jim's central role in Huck Finn?

Jim serves several roles in Huckleberry Finn. He acts as surrogate father for the title character. As a father figure, Jim replaces Huck's alcoholic and abusive parent. Jim's kindness and sensitivity appear in sharp contrast to the mean qualities of Huck's biological father. The contrast is further enhanced by Jim's love for and loyalty toward his own family, from which he is estranged. In his role as father figure, Jim helps Huck mature and grow up. The two share a common bond as runaways who must mututally support
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each other, a situation that psychologically empowers both Huck and Jim. Jim's role as a slave also forces Huck to think deeply about moral issues, which contributes further to Huck's growth. Furthermore, Jim serves a symbolic role as a representative of the institution of slavery and as a statement against both slavery and racism. Jim therefore underscores the theme of freedom in the novel.

5. What role does superstition play in Huck Finn?

Jim is by far the most superstitious character in Twain's novel. His superstitions deal mostly with the natural world, with which he is intimately familiar and knowledgeable about. Although some of his beliefs are ungrounded in science, they offer a meaningful counterpart and contrast for the type of knowledge that people like Widow Douglas try to instill in Huck. As such, superstition serves a specific purpose in Huck's character development. Superstition is offered as an alternative form of wisdom and an alternative means of viewing the world. For example, from Jim, Huck learns about the rhythms and cycles of nature, which he would not gather from any formal lessons in school. Superstition also provides order and structure to a world that is otherwise chaotic, as when Huck and Jim are floating down the river. Although superstitions are not scientifically valid, they offer spiritual solace. In fact, superstition is similar to the powers of imagination exhibited by Huck but especially by his…

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