The Role of Jim in Huckleberry Finn

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Jim is the black character of the American white world in Huckleberry Fin of Mark Twain, when blacks were almost invisible. As the story was set in an earlier decade, when the slavery was still unrepentantly rampant, especially in the South, it was a masterly act of ambition to impress upon America the barbarity of the system in so-called land of liberty and freedom, where one entire race was captured, kidnapped, tortured, killed, separated from homeland to live a life of eternal slavery…

Introduction


We meet Jim in the second chapter, in a role next to only Huck. He remains throughout a 'noble cause and an ignoble foil' in Twain's masterpiece supposed to be a departure from usual European literary work, which was initially denounced for the irrepressible need of better treatment to slaves. It used frontier humor, vernacular speech and according to Ernest Hemingway, is the novel from which "all modern American literature comes. There has been nothing as good since." http://www.enotes.com/twentieth-century-criticism/adventures-huckleberry-finn-mark-twain
Ralph Ellison defends Twain's presentation of Jim as ""not only a slave but a human being, a man who in some ways have to be enviedJim is drawn in all his ignorance, and superstition, with his good traits, and bad. He like all men, is ambiguous, limited in circumstances, but not in possibility," Callahan (1995, p.88).
Twain presents natural justice and raises the characters above the prevailing selfishness of society and racism. ...
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