Ch 17: Examining the Role of Jim

Or Lack There Of


Jim's father like role to Huck diminishes after he finds a brief sense of belonging that the Grangerford family gives him.

Chapter Ideas

  • In Jim's absence, Huckleberry assimilates into a family that is in the midst of a feud.
  • Huck does not acknowledge Jim's absence
  • Grangerford family accepts Huckleberry, creating a sense of belonging that he never had, allowing him to not miss Jim.
  • While living with the family, Huck experiences a new outlook on death after learning about the death of Emmelie Grangerford, a daughter of the family.
  • He is curious of the way they preserved her life after death.
  • Admirable of the family's lifestyle, and enjoys the company of Buck.
  • The absence of Jim is overpowered by the sense of belonging and family that he never had, shown through his constant appreciation for what the family has and gives to him.

Relating "The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro" to the Chapter

  • "After America was freed, nothing changed for the black man’s life"
  • After Huckleberry and Jim were separated, Jim's life was not majorly changed, while Huck's life was changed by living with a rich family.

Literary Criticism: The Role of Jim in Huckleberry Finn

"Later, the wreck of the raft, which leads to the Grangerford feud episode, is also preceded by an evil omen: Huck carelessly handles a snake-skin. (On this is also blamed—accurately—Jim's rattlesnake bite and—inaccurately—the near disaster on the Walter Scott.) As a final instance of the direct role of superstition in the plot, there is the fact that the rescue episode would have been foiled at the start if the great superstitious fear of Uncle Silas had not made communication with the prisoner Jim not only possible but relatively easy...." (Brownwell para 4)

Huck's superstitious involvement with Jim may have foreshadowed the end of the good time he had going at the Grangerford household.

Brownell, Frances V. "The Role of Jim in Huckleberry Finn." Boston Studies English 1: n. pag. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 16 Dec. 2015. <|H1420004131&docType=GALE&role=LitRC>.

"As this character analysis of Jim in Huck Finn suggests, by representing Jim as one of the most reliable, least hypocritical, most honest and caring characters in the text, this novel makes a statement about the hypocrisy of the institution of slavery and about the whites who support the institution." (Article Myriad Para 1)

Despite Jim being a slave, societies perception of Jim is not skewed, and allows the reader to realize exactly how loving and caring Jim is towards Huck, assuming the Father figure role in his life.

"Character Analysis of Jim." Article Myriad. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.