’s True Father Essay, Research Paper
Jim is Huck’s True Father
In desperate need of a father figure, Huck, the title character in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, connects with a runaway slave named Jim. A father is someone who thinks of the child before himself and loves unconditionally. Huck’s biological father, Pap, does not possess these qualities, but his friend, Jim does. Even though their meeting is a coincidence, Jim and Huck develop a type of relationship, while on their journey to freedom, that is uncommon during the period of the 1840’s.
It is natural for a father to love his son and a son to love his father; but in the case of Huck and Pap, there is no love. Pap is a user. He sees Huck as his possession and believes that he can do anything he wants with him. At one point Pap says, “Looky here- mind how you talk to me; I’m a-standing about all I can stand . . . I’ve been in town nearly two days, and I hain’t heard nothing but about you bein’ rich . . . That’s why I come. You git me that money tomorrow- I want it.” Pap’s only desire is to get his hands on Huck’s money. There is never any compassion heard in Pap’s voice, only anger. This anger is a result of Pap’s alcoholism, which has a direct affect on Huck. When Pap drinks, he either physically or verbally abuses Huck. As a result of this household environment, Huck realizes he needs to escape, not just from his father, but from “sivilization”.
Jim and Huck meet up and begin their adventure on Jackson’s Island. Their encounter of one another is a coincidence, but Jim and Huck end up staying together for the remainder
of the novel. In the beginning of their journey, the two appear to be very different. Jim, a runaway black slave, who according to society is not human and Huck, a young white boy who was raised in the values of that same society, forge a lasting bond. Before a bond is created, the two must look past the differences between them. Although the two seem to be different, Jim and Huck’s goal are one in the same; they are looking for freedom. Jim, although running away from slavery, yearns to be with his family. Huck, while running away from “sivilized” life, wishes to be on his own. As their friendship grows, the two realize that they have more in common than they originally thought. Throughout the course of the adventure, Huck learns what is “right” and Jim becomes his missing father.
The relationship that exists between Jim and Huck is much like that of a father and son. Since Jim and Huck are both without family while on the raft, they subconsciously fill that void for each other. There is one instance, the morning after the fog, in which the reader sees how much Jim cares for Huck. ” . . .my heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’, en I didn’ k’yer no mo’ what become er me en de raf’. En when I wake up en fine you back ag’in, all safe and soun’, de tears come . . . I’s so thankful.” The love that Jim shows for Huck throughout the novel is tremendous. Before the two are able to mutually care for one another, Huck must apologize for playing a trick on Jim. Once he apologizes, Huck now accepts Jim as a human. The reader recognizes that Jim exemplifies parental traits when they were at the house of death. Jim covers the face of the dead man, who the reader later learns is Pap, to protect Huck. Jim does not believe that Huck is ready to know that his father is dead. By the
end of their adventure down the Mississippi River, Jim has become the father that Huck never had.
As the two main characters in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn travel down the Mississippi River together, Jim and Huck develop a special bond. Huck, who does not have a “real” father that loves him, needs that type of relationship in his life. Once Jim and Huck start their adventure, Jim fills the place of Huck’s father willingly. As the story progresses, the reader views Jim as Huck’s true father and friend. The relationship that these two share is remarkable.