Books are known for teaching lessons. In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain satirically presents the situation of how people of different color were treated unjustly, while at the same time amusing his readers.
Isn’t it ironic that the character that grows on you most is Jim, the black runaway slave, who society looks down upon most during the time period of this book? Jim is treated poorly as a slave and as a person. For one, he is separated from his parents and children amongst different slave owners. On top of this, he is about to be sold for $800 to another owner even more far away from his family, which leads to his escape. Despite these situations, he remains a loyal, loving, father-like figure, and most importantly, he remains a great friend to Huckleberry.
Society, even today, often puts children down by saying that they do not contain values. Well, Huck closes the door to this statement. Whenever Huck is challenged to make a decision on impact concerning the safety of Jim, such as the incident when the men are looking for blacks, his heart always seems to pilot him to the direction of Jim’s benefit, even though almost all of the rest of society would object to his decisions during this period of time. You can also see Huck’s distress and sorrow for the fact that Jim has to buy his family back in order to see them again. This absolutely breaks Huck’s heart.
Back in the 1800s, blacks were considered property, and whites were always the superior race. In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain purposely makes Jim the best character in the book, in that he is the most compassionate, caring, and most appreciated by Huck, the main character in the book. At the same time he makes Pap, the white dead-beat father of Huck, the most detested, disrespected, low down character of this book. Twain causes his readers to contemplate of how foolish it is that a person can be judged on his outside appearance, rather than who the individual is on the inside.
In conclusion, the lesson to be taught by Mark Twain is that people often pre-judge others based on their exterior and not what counts on the interior. He does this satirically by making Jim an irresistibly lovable character because of how deep his feelings are, making the reader feel these insights as well. This is a lesson that can unquestionably be applied in today’s world as well.