Discuss the significance of the following quotes from chapter XVI: -“Jim said it made him all over trembly and feverish to be so close to freedom. Well, I can tell you it made me all over trembly...

Discuss the significance of the following quotes from chapter XVI:

-“Jim said it made him all over trembly and feverish to be so close to freedom. Well, I can tell you it made me all over trembly and feverish, too, to hear him, because I begun to get it through my head that he WAS most free—and who was to blame for it? Why, ME. I couldn't get that out of my, no how nor no way.”

- “Here was this nigger, which I had as good as helped to run away, coming right out flat-footed and saying he would steal his children—children that belonged to a man I didn't even know; a man that hadn't ever done me no harm.” Explain the irony in this quote as well as significance.

 

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What these quotes are all about is a major theme of the book.  That is, they are about the ways in which Huck is not sure about how he thinks of Jim.  Huck is not sure whether he wants Jim to be free.

In these quotes, Huck is conflicted about the idea of Jim being free.  He feels bad about helping Jim become free when society is clearly opposed to the idea of slaves escaping.

In these quotes, Huck has clearly internalized some of society's values.  At the same time, he is still helping Jim escape.  In this way, his conflict is clear.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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