In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" contrast Huck's and Tom's plans to free Jim.Whose plan do you think Jim would prefer? Why?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Huck wants to just go in there and get Jim, and leave.  Quick and easy.  Lift up the bed, remove the chain from it, and get out of there through a hole in the back of the shanty, as fast as they can.  If I were Jim, I would definitely prefer that; it's the logical way to do it.  Tom on the other hand, has other ideas.  Because he has read so many adventure books about rescues and prison life, he wants to make it more sensational, more "true to fiction".  So, instead, here is a short list of just some of the things Tom proposes:  1.  Giving Jim spiders, rats and snakes for pets, because prisoners always tame the rats in the prisons because they are so lonely for companionship.  2.  Making Jim-who can't write-use his own blood to mark how many days he's been in there, and to keep a "record".  3.  Sneaking a rope ladder in a pie into Jim-who is in a single floor shanty-so that he can use it to escape.  4.  Instead of using a shovel to dig a hole out the back for Jim to shimmy through, they have to use pocket knives to dig that hole, so that it will take longer.  5.  The best of all:  they put a note on the door of the main house, warning everyone around that they are coming to steal Jim, at a particular time-this to make it all more risky and dangerous.  That way, when the night of the rescue occurs, there's a mob of angry people ready to hunt them down.  Because of this, Tom gets shot, and Jim isn't able to escape at all.

These are just a few of the exciting and adventurous ideas that Tom has.  In the meantime, a grown man is sitting in a shanty, suffering numerous tortures, when he could have been free the entire time.  Tom-to have his fun-has no regard for the human life that he is toying with so that he can live out his fantasies in regards to the adventure stories he has read.  After all of this, hopefully it is obvious which "rescue plan" you would prefer.  I know it is to me.  I hope that helps!

charcunning eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Jim would clearly prefer Huck's plan. By this point in the novel, it is already clear that Jim is a very straight-forward and logical person. It is also clear that Huck is logical and to-the-point as well.

Jim, because he wants to do things the "right" way, as does Huck, goes along with Tom's foolish plan only because he feels he has to--Tom is white, so therefore his ideas must be better. This is the same logic Huck uses--Tom reads books and is smarter, so his ideas must be better.

Throughout the escape plan scenes, both Huck and Tom present their logical ideas to Tom, only to have them shot down.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Huck's plan has Jim's best interests in mind. Tom's plan is geared toward Tom's idea of adventure and fun. Tom doesn't care if Jim has to sleep with snakes, rats and spiders... Jim would clearly prefer Huck's plan, yet both he and Huck defer to Tom's intelligence and his social standing, assuming that Tom will know best how to effect an escape.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator


Huck is constantly getting roped into Tom Sawyer's plans. Up until Tom's elaborate plan to free Jim, Huck's opinion of Tom changes. He no longer thinks of him as clever. He sees Tom's not telling him about Jim being free and then concocting a ridiculous scheme for what it is: selfish and immature.

epollock | Student

There's no question Jim would have wanted to be set free at the earliest possible time.  But with Tom's European attitude of romanticism and adventure, it takes such a long time to break Jim out.  Actually Jim escapes for a short while in order to help the plan move along faster.  He then goes back in to escape "properly."

Read the study guide:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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