In the book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Jim and Huck are characters who both try to escape the pressure of society by leaving the town they live in and going off to find a new life.
Although they both use “running off” as a solution to their problems, the issues that they face are ones that differ in several ways.
Judging from the very first chapters of the book, Huck loved hanging out with the other boys that lived in his town. However, he was different from them in the way that he hates “…to wash, and eat on a plate, and comb up, and go to bed and get up regular, and be forever bothering over a book, and have old Miss Watson pecking at [him] all the time” (Twain 22). Huck hated how in the society everything had to be so perfect and everyone had to follow all the rules. The restrictions were suffocating to him. He may have been like that because he was used to being free when he lived with his father. I believe that if his father wasn’t as abusive as he was, Huck would have preferred that lifestyle over the one he had with Miss Watson in charge.
The fears the Jim was running away from was one that motivated countless of other slaves to run away during the time period. Jim said that Miss Watson wasn’t treating him very kindly and he was suspicious that she was gonna sell him off to Orleans (Twain 38). Jim didn’t want to be sold off and then never be able to see his family again.
Both Jim and Huck had society’s rules restricting them from truly being free. In Jim’s case, he was bound by slave laws while Huck was simply imprisoned by society’s standards.
I believe that Mark Twain decided to use these contrasting characters because he wanted to show that two very different people can still be faced with the same challenges. He also conveyed the idea that no matter how much you think someone’s life is perfect, it’s not what it always seems to be.
Huckleberry Finn Discussion by Lauren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.