saves Tom and risks what he believes to be his myth or Legend: Jesse James own freedom is a case in point. But as with Huck, Jim is willing to sacrifice his life for his friends. Huck believes he has been forced to make a choice between Jim and heaven. However, this is not to say that Huck is not heroic himself. Huck on the other hand is the key character by virtue of his predominance throughout the book. Huck is in every moment of the novel and other characters are merely there because they interact with Huck. Jims effect on Huck is huge. The one trait that does not fluctuate throughout the novel is Jim's belief in Huck. This quality makes him even more heroic for he is a figure who turns the other cheek and is kind to others no matter what.
In a novel which is written as a satiric social comment upon the southern states of America, Jims role as the manifestation of slavery must be a key one. Twain described Uncle Daniel as a man who was well known for his sympathy toward others and his honest heart. Another possible inspiration for Jim came from Twain's relationship with John Lewis, a tenant farmer at Quarry farm. Huck justifies Jims existence as a character of substance in this novel. An example of this occurs when Huck says, And I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for theirn. In a letter to William Dean Howells, Twain recalled how Lewis had once saved his entire family when a horse-drawn carriage broke away on the farm. His support for Jim, a black man, who Huck has been taught is inferior and as important as a pack horse is astounding and displays that Huck is strong enough and heroic enough to make the harder choice and choose his heart over his conscience. Through Huck, Twain frames all the key issues of freedom, racism and slavery, personal integrity and social rebellion against social attitudes of the period. However, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel about the adventures of the protagonist Huck and it is more likely that the key character of this novel is Huck because we see everything from his view. Incidents in which Jim interacts with other characters and their reactions to him are meant to symbolize the wider societys opinions on slaves and the practice of slavery.