Throughout the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the author, Mark Twain introduces the reader with the character Jim, a black runaway slave. He is Hucks (main character) companion as they travel down the river, Jim in search of freedom of course. Although Jim comes off as a naïve person whom is nothing, but superstitious, those superstitions conceal a deep knowledge of the natural world. Mark Twain uses diction, imagery, details, and improper syntax to characterize Jim in the 16th chapter of the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. All these elements help characterize and define Jims character.
In order to characterize Jim, Twain employs diction. He has Jim speak in a variety of idioms when he speaks that “why she tried to learn you your book, she tried to learn you your manners…” (87). the way in which Jim uses words is incorrect. When he says this, you can see that Jim misuses the word, and that he knows what he’s saying, he just does not use it in the proper vocabulary to express it. He uses the words “learn you” instead of saying “teach you” or “teaching you”. Twain employs that Jim is not so educated by the word choice that Jim is given. Another simple expression that Jim says is “Dah’s Cairo!” (88). Jim says this as they are out looking for the town Cairo. When Jim says “Dah’s” what he really means is the word “that’s”, but in the way that the author writes it, helps us understand that the way in which Jim speaks is not proper.
As Huck and Jim are on the steamboat, Huck describes how “Every little while he jumps up and says “Dah she is?” But it warn’t. It was Jack-o’-lanterns, or lightning bugs; so he set down again, and went to watching, same as before” (87). Jims interrupted syntax, dramatize his excitement and eagerness as they are about to arrive at Cairo in chapter 16th. Twain also characterizes him in a way a child would react to any situation when excited for something, unsteady, amused and cheerful. The reason for Jim reacting this way, is due to the fact that he thinks once he is there he will be a free man. “Jim talked all loud all the time while I was talking to myself “(88). Huck describes Jim being this way as they are on the steamboat to Cairo. Jim’s uneasiness, and restless syntax helps characterize him, in the way that he is, making the reader understand how even though he is a grown man, he sort of acts like a child in a way, due to his excitement. He talks out loud to himself because he just cannot hold in the eagerness to get to Cairo. He thinks once he arrives he will be a free man.
Imagery helps describe a situation or thing by creating this lyrical emotion. When Huck is explaining how “Every little while he jumps up…” (87). he is referring to Jim. He says this when they are on the lookout for the town Cairo. Jim explains how the minute he sees it, he will not miss it for he will be a free man once in sight. Twain gives us this image of Jim, which conveys his enthusiastic, and eagerness in reaching this town dramatizing