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“Sometimes all it takes is a tiny shift of perspective to see something familiar in a totally new light.” In Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Huck, gradually sees this new light in a friend. Huck undergoes a total moral transformation with the help of a close friend and runaway slave named Jim. Upon surface reading the novel, you believe that Jim is the one undergoing a characteristic transformation. But that is not the case. Because the narrator is Huck, you see what occurs through his blurred lens. The invisible truth is that Jim is static and Huck is dynamic. Jim remains the exact same physical and moral person from the beginning to the very end of the novel. Without Huck even knowing his own perspective of Jim and all slaves has changed. Throughout the novel it is clearly shown that Jim greatly influences Huck’s ethical perspective on slaves. 

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Initially at the rise of the novel, we see Huck as a stereotypical individual who views slaves as uneducated, emotionless, superstitious, and ultimately less than human. Throughout Huck’s adventures, he is put into numerous situations where he must look within himself and use his judgement to make core decisions that will effect the principles he will carry with him throughout his life. While on the raft, Jim enlightens Huck with a new perspective on slaves. Gradually, his friendship with Jim builds leading to lengthy conversations. When the two were arguing over language and King Solomon, Huck finally gives up stating, “…it warn’t no use wasting words- you can’t learn a nigger to argue, so I quit.”, perfectly depicting his outlook on slaves as being incapable of learning and making intelligent statements. This scene conveys a truth, Huck dismisses Jim’s argument using an label that claims a black man is less than a man. When of course Jim, a black man, has just shown a truth deeper than differences of language and understanding: a man is a man. Jim’s point shows his incredible intellect and demonstration of what is wrong with the label. After much time spent together, finally, by the end of the novel, it is apparent that Huck respects and cares for Jim as a human being. He even goes on to say, “I know’d he was white inside.” This statement shows how Huck feels that Jim is a close friend, father figure, and even an equal.

In Mark Twain’s,The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck was raised in a society that devalued the individuality and humanity of slaves. Huck’s perceptive towards Jim and all slaves is reshaped from him thinking that Jim is just property and an ignorant slave, to feeling that Jim is his good friend, and equal to him. Huck’s total moral progression through his decision to help Jim, Huck states, “…I’ll go to hell…” to see Jim into freedom. The situation that Huck is faced with about choosing a close friend over society is the main dilemma that drives Huck to create his own standards of morality, rather than accepting those that society has set forth. At start of the novel Huck lacks being able to make right decisions on his own. It is only with the help of Jim that he is able to truly progress. 


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