Re: Huckleberry Finn/ introduction and first thoughts
I think we get into the meanings of words here ... "person" incorporates "human" and, in my view, the degree to which Huck wrestled with the possibility that Jim (and all Negroes) were actually human was a measure of Huck's own humanity. Tom fell sadly below this human line in my view. I can't even like Tom.
The posession or ownership of another human precludes humaness. So once the 'possession' of Jim was so clearly in question his humaness surfaced and all bets were off, his humaness was self-evident and not even Tom's silly games could suppress it.
I'm reading Isabel Allende, "Island Beneath the Sea", at the moment, and this is a brilliant exploration of this theme, written with a more modern tone and a good deal of magic and spiritualism but in many ways not a far cry from Twain's book.