Given the structure of Twain’s approach, it is not surprising that many critiques and readers pin the book to be racist. Those who do are clearly misunderstanding or simply ignoring the novel’s antipathy of racism. Again, with Jim’s proof of intelligence and morality, he strives to gain distance from those dark people he is surrounded by. Overall, Twains focus on Jim to be a positive, moral, and equal person who brings good influences on Huck accomplishes his meaning to place racism behind the curtains. For any person whom reads Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn and derives from this story nothing but racism and a negative story, has committed the worst crime in American Literature history.
When taking a look at Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, racism is a large theme that seems to be reoccurring. What some may think to be racism in Twain's words, can also be explained as, good story telling appropriate to the era the story takes place in. Twain himself has been suggested as a racist based on the fact that he uses the word "nigger" in his book. However, Twain was an avid abolitionist. For those who claim that Twain was a racist must have only been looking out for themselves and not those who are willing to learn about the past whether it be ugly or perfect.
?he [Mark Twain] portrays Jim [the escaping slave] as a compassionate, shrewd, thoughtful, self-sacrificing, and even a wise man.? Supporters also point out that Twain actually condemns white society of the day for their barbaric practice of slavery. Supporter, Kenny G. Williams, feels that the novel should be read, for it uncovers a basic historical reality, which is important for the advancement of equality. Now you can see how people?s positions on the usage of Huckleberry Finn vary greatly from on another. I have not yet read the book, yet through some research I have found that I more support the book than denounce it.
There is no doubt that the novel Huckleberry Finn is a novel that almost everybody loves to hate. There have been many opportunists that have acted quickly on the chance to spark controversy on this book to make portrayed as non-humane. It is safe to conclude that the biggest issue with the book that is argued is the reference to the word “n*****”. Many current objectors to the teaching of the book argue that reading this book might possibly bring back racism, or make the African-American race feel dehumanized. I can see why some people might be offended by the book, however, I feel that history is something that we cannot change, and therefore, people should not shield themselves from the past.
Conclusively, It is unclear whether or not twain is deliberate in his racist views or simply afraid to paint black characters in a better light due to a possible contrary backlash from white critics, white readers, or other white contemporaries. However, readers can only construct arguments based on what they know about the text. In this case, based on Twain’s use of the word “nigger”, his negative representation of black people in many of his stories, and his irresponsibility in making an effort to understand African peoples more intimately, he is a racist and does not hold black people in this highest esteem.
Through society, Huck’s father and Huck, Mark Twain reveals a challenge to slavery. On a superficial level Huckleberry Finn might appear to be racist. The first time the reader meets Jim he is given a very negative description of Jim. The reader is told that Jim is illiterate, childlike, not very bright and extremely superstitious. However, it is important not to lose sight of who is giving this description and of whom it is being given.
In the book, Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, the main character Huck, is able to look past conformist and the effects of his environment. Huck was born into a society that was supposed to hate black people. Huck was able to see good in a ‘nigger’ , and further a healthy relationship with his slave, Jim. Huck is a very strong and smart person, although he isn’t learned, and can act ignorant from time to time. Mark Twain, many times makes Huck look like a non-admirable person, when Twain does this it degrades him and Huck.
It is commonly believed that racism is not born but taught. According to a quote from CLR James, "The conception of dividing people by race begins with the slave trade. This thing was so shocking, so opposed to all the conceptions of society which religion and philosophers had…that the only justification by which humanity could face it was to divide people into races and decide that the Africans were an inferior race" (Roots 1). The novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, shows the racial views of the white population towards the black minority in the eyes of a young girl named Jean Louise Finch or her more commonly known nickname Scout. Although as a reader we understand more, watching Scout try to formulate what is going on when she hears certain racist remarks shows her innocence.
Huck is very open minded, he is the focus in this novel and doesn't have much respect for authority. Huck dislikes the idea of following rules. One of Huck's main struggles is with Jim, a runaway slave but a role model and good friend to Huck. Jim demonstrates what an adult in society should be like because he looks out and is loyal to Huck. Huck wanted to protect Jim so he told a lie to the slave hunters about a small pox outbreak to keep them from searching near him and it actually worked.
When Huck and Jim get near Cario Huck tears up the letters to Miss Watson while he has been away and deciding to “go to hell”. She states that “it is not the greater wrong of slavery that motivates him.” Huck begins to feel the “pinch” he begins to realize he has treated Miss. Watson horrible and soon realizes that Miss. Watson treated him decently as he says she “tied to learn you your book, she tried to learn your manners, she tried to be good to you every way she knowed how”. She tells the readers Huck feels guilty that he has not stopped Jims escape.