Who is the hero of the book "The Adventures of Hucklebberry Finn"?
Although not the average 'hero', there is no doubt that Huckleberry Finn is the hero of the book. Mark Twain simply does not allow the reader to come to any other conclusion, and rightfully so. Huck's story can be any of our stories, in that he realizes through life experiences not everything is as it seems. This is a fundamental lesson that at some point humanity must come face to face with. The names and places are different, however the message is ever so constant. Huck learns to have sympathy and empathy for other human beings through his practical no nonsense view of the world. He is able to separate himself from the conventional barriers his world often fortifies. In achieving this Huck transforms himself to a higher level of being. Perhaps the success of this idea is what makes Huckleberry a character that all of humanity could aspire to.
The runaway slave Jim plays a close second fiddle, especially since there is more at stake for him than for his buddy Huck. Whereas Huck simply has wanderlust, Jim is on the run for freedom and to save his skin.
The story line, however, evolves around Huck and his experiences. Sometimes Jim's plight is momentarily put in the background, even forgotten. (Some critics see this as a weakness of the novel.)
Both Huck and Jim have something of "the noble savage" about them, as their non-conformity to "the system" makes leave shore for rafting on the Mississippi. The river itself is a metaphor for escapism; it is always there for Jim and Huck whenever things go awry.