Those who dismissed Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and accused Mark Twain of being racist failed to understand the significance of Chapter fifteen. In this poignant chapter, Huck and Jim’s relationship begins to develop, and Huck learns a valuable lesson about the consequences of his selfish actions, even towards someone like Jim whom society considers inferior. What is particularly impressive is that Mark Twain uses Jim, a runaway slave, as the unlikely teacher in this teachable moment. The conclusion of the chapter highlights Jim’s sensitive and sentimental nature as a friend, teacher, and father figure to Huck. It also underscores Huck’s ignorance and impressionable nature as Jim’s friend, student, and son.
Ultimately, the role reversal between Jim and Huck, with Jim taking on the role of a teacher and Huck as the student, compels Huck to acknowledge Jim’s humanity, thereby disproving any claim that Mark Twain was a racist.
The main idea
What is the main topic of the paragraph?
Jim fulfills various roles in Huck’s life – he acts as his friend, teacher, and family. By the conclusion of Chapter 15, Jim’s character demonstrates growth and becomes a significant and positive influence on Huck. The quotation within the text reveals the profound connection between them, as Jim expresses immense relief and gratitude upon discovering that Huck is safe and well once more.
Diction, Imagery, and Symbolism
- Twain’s use of a broken heart indicates Jim’s love and affection for Huck – he thinks he has lost HF forever = devastation, doesn’t know what will happen = much like how we feel when we lost a loved one. Jim reacts with much emotion over the potential loss of HF –more human than ever before.
- Diction—“safe and soun’” – paternal, as parents, want their children to be safe and sound..his tears are most certainly happy tears upon discovering there is no love lost after all –“to kiss his feet” , he puts HF above himself, he puts him first –; however, his heart remains broken –from disappointment – which causes him to act in a fatherly manner to explain why he’s disappointed in HF.
- “Dat truck dah is trash, ‘en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head erdeyfren’s en makes ‘em ashamed” (95).