Why did Tom want to go through the adventure of freeing Jim if he was already free? Was it just for the excitement and thrill? Did it have a deeper meaning? Did Tom seem to represent the...

Why did Tom want to go through the adventure of freeing Jim if he was already free? Was it just for the excitement and thrill? Did it have a deeper meaning? Did Tom seem to represent the South/civilization?

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It comes as something of a surprise to us when Tom agrees to help Huck free Jim. It is also a surprise to Huck. He knows that Tom does not have much time for abolitionists. Though Tom has always had a sense of adventure, Huck never believed for one moment that he would go against the prevailing norms of a society based on slavery.

Tom may have a boyish taste for getting into scrapes, but he is no fool. Unlike Huck and Jim, he knows that Jim has already been formally freed under the provisions of Miss Watson's will. This means there is much less risk involved in freeing Jim from the confines of the shed. Tom will not be breaking the law, and at the same time, he will get to show off the stylish, elaborate plan that so impresses Huck. It is a win-win situation for Tom; he gets to look like a hero while not doing anything to challenge the norms of a society he largely accepts.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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