Huckleberry Finn: Jim As A Moral Hero

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In the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, an adolescent boy named Huck Finn rejects living a civilized life and runs away from home. Soon after running away, he meets a runaway slaved named Jim, and the two take off down the Mississippi River together. Since Huck is the narrator of the book, many readers seem to think that he is also the moral hero of the novel. However, this is not actually true. In this paper, I define a “moral hero” as someone who will sacrifice everything he has, including his own life, for someone else. The character of Jim exemplifies these qualities various times throughout the novel, which would actually make him the moral hero of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain picked the African American slave to be the moral hero…show more content…
Throughout all of the adventures in the book, compassion stuck out to me as Jim’s most outstanding trait. When the king and duke were first introduced into the story, Huck and Jim were made to have “watch shifts” and stay awake during the night hours. There was a big thunderstorm that night and the weather was frightening: “The waves most washed me off the raft, sometimes, but I hadn't any clothes on, and didn't mind. We didn't have trouble about snags; the lightening was glaring and flittering around so constant that we could see them plenty soon enough to through her head this way or that to miss them” (144). Huck states that he had the middle watch that night but he was getting very sleepy. Despite the downpour of rain, Jim kindly takes his watch for him. Hucks says “Jim says he would stand the first half of it for me; he was always mighty good, that way, Jim was” (144). Jim always put others before himself, no matter what the situation was. That is one of his most heroic qualities, and the fact that he took the watch for Huck shows his compassion and his superiority over Huck as the hero of the…show more content…
When the doctor showed up to help Tom, he needed help because Tom was delirious and acting out violently. The doctor noted, And he got a little worse and a little worse, and after a long time he went out of his head, and wouldn't let me come anigh him any more, and said if I chalked his raft he’d kill me, and no end of wild foolishment like that, and I see I couldn't do anything at all with him, so I says, I got to have some help, somehow and the minute I says it, out crawls this nigger from somewhere, and says he’ll help. (288) Jim risked his freedom to help the doctor nurse Tom. Many times throughout of the novel, Jim states how much he longs to be a free man. It was his main goal in the novel to become free and see his family once again. Jim gave all of that up the minute the doctor said that he needed help. That brings us back to the definition of a hero as one who will give up everything for someone else. Jim’s selflessness is astonishing throughout the novel, and it showed his hero status

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