My heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’,”(Pg. 85) was what Jim told Huckleberry when he found him again after they had been separated.
This is a perfect example of how much Jim sincerely cares about Huck. Huck definitely has a very close and father-like relationship with the runaway slave, Jim. On the other hand, his real father, Pap, is less of a father figure to Huck than a runaway African American slave. Pap is very violent and abusive towards Huck.
By looking at Huck’s relationships with Pap and Jim and how they are different and similar in some ways, Huck’s relationship with Pap, and Huck’s relationship with Jim the reader can see how they all relate.
Although the relationships between Huck and Pap and Huck and Jim may seem extremely different, they are also quite similar in some ways. Both are father figures for Huck in a way. Although Huck is related to Pap through blood, Jim, who is a slave, cares more for Huck and is more nurturing than Pap is.
“Come in, Huck, but doan’ look at his face – it’s too gashly.” (Pg. 50) Jim said this as he found the body of Huck’s father, Pap. This shows how Jim didn’t want Huck to be upset by knowing that his father is dead.
Also, Huck is in danger staying with both of these people. With staying with Pap, Huck is in danger because of his father’s abusiveness. Jim and Pap are also alike because of the fact that both of these people don’t like their place in society. Pap wants to be wealthier and higher up in society, whereas Jim only wants to escape slavery and own himself.
Pap is a very violent drunk. He lives on the outskirts of town, and goes into town only to get alcohol and become intoxicated. “I borrowed three dollars from Judge Thatcher, and pap took it and got drunk, and went a-blow-ing around and cussing and whooping and carrying on; and he kept it up all over town, with a tin pan, till most midnight; then they jailed him, and next day they had him before court, and jailed him again for a week.”, (Pg.
21). This shows further how Pap is a horrible role model for Huck and a drunk. One night, because of his drunken stupor, Pap tried to kill Huck and almost succeeded. “He chased me round and round the place with a clasp-knife, calling me the Angel of Death, and saying he would kill me,”, (Pg.
29). Huck has grown up with this kind of abuse all of his life and fears his father. “I used to be scared of him all the time, he tanned me so much.” (Pg.
18). Not only is Pap abusive, he also does not wish for Huck to go to school or become educated. “And looky here – you drop that school, you hear?” (Pg. 19).
He also threatens to hit Huck if he catches him at school.
Jim, however, is almost the very opposite of Pap. Huck has a very strong relationship with Jim. It is almost like a father-son relationship between the two.
Although it may seem strange, Jim is Huck’s only friends, and vice versa. Even though Huck could face serious trouble for helping a slave run away, Jim is like a father and best friend to Huck and he sticks with Jim the whole way. “People would call me a low-down abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum..
.”, (Pg. 43). Not only does Huck care deeply for Jim, Jim also sincerely cares about Huck.
“Come in, Huck, but doan’ look at his face – it’s too gashly.”, (Pg. 50). This is what Jim told Huck when they found Pap’s dead, naked body laying in an empty house.
Pap didn’t reveal to Huck that it was his Pap until he knew he would no longer be sad about his father’s death.
Although during these times the kind of relationship that Huck and Jim had was completely unheard of, it definitely had a great affect on both of them. It gave each of them a friend and their adventures together made their dreams come true. In a way, Huck’s relationship with Pap also had a good effect on Huck, giving him the ability to get out of messy situations and also the independence and self-reliance that he possesses.
Now that we have looked at the similarities between Pap and Jim, one can come to realize the differences between them as well and how they affected Huckleberry Finn.