Huck and Jim are floating on the river as semi friends helping to escape both of their lives. Huck is struggling with the idea of keeping Jim as a friend in his mind, as he had been raised to see Jim as slave ( property) rather than a person. Huck knows that befriending a runaway slave is highly shamed and dangerous in that time, in his mind set Huck thinks that the next time they hit ashore, he will turn in Jim, but as they get closer to hitting ashore he changes his mindset on that. He can relate to Jim because at this point Jim is all that Huck has in his life since he had been kidnapped by his father away from his adopted mother and then he faked his own death to runway from his drunken father. Jim on the other hand also ran away from Huck’s adopted mother sister, and he now has no family with him because he ran away, from the farm. He had to sacrifice leaving his family to not be sold and sent down the river and to not have a chance at being reunited with his family if that were to happen.
“It got to troubling me so I couldn’t rest: I couldn’t stay still in one place…… Conscience up and said to me every time” (184)
We all know or have friends who have done something wrong or against the law. We struggle with what to do with that knowledge. IS it our responsibility to turn them in or do we keep quiet to continue our friendship. Sometimes we take so long to make our decision, the decision is made for us or at least that’s what we hope. They are found out so we are not the tattle tale. This is a life struggle that starts in early childhood when parents tell you not to tattle but they also tell you not to lie when they want to know what happened or who did what.
This part of the book ends with Huck debating whether or not to turn in Jim. He has had the chance and set his mind to doing that, but he has been wishy washy with doing it.