Analysis Of Racism In Huck Finn

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To teach or not to teach? This is the question that is presently on many administrators' minds about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. For those who read the book without grasping the important concepts that Mark Twain gets across "in between the lines", many problems arise. A reader may come away with the impression that the novel is simply a negative view of the African-American race. If we believe that Huck Finn is used only as a unit of racism we sell the book short. I feel that there is much to be learned about Blacks from this book and it should not be banned from the classroom. This is only one of many themes and expressions that Mark Twain is describing in his work. I believe that in Huck Finn slavery is used as insight into the nature of blacks and whites as people in general. Overall, the most important thing to understand is that Mark Twain is illustrating his valuable ideas without pushing them upon the reader directly.
I believe that “Huck Finn” teaches a reader two important lessons about the true nature of people. Throughout the book, one of these main lessons is that Blacks can be just as caring as whites. The white characters often view the blacks as property rather than as individuals with feelings and aspirations of their own. Huck comes to realize that Jim is much more than a simple slave when he discusses a painful experience with his daughter. Jim describes how he once called her and she did not respond. He then takes this as a sign of disobedience and beats her for it. Soon realizing that she is indeed deaf, he comforts her and tries to make up for the act of beating. The feeling that Jim displays shows Huck that Jim has a very human reaction and the fact Jim says, "Oh Huck, I bust out crying....'Oh the po' little thing!" (Twain 151), only further proves to Huck that Jim is as caring as he is. Huck's realization allows him to see that Jim is no longer the ordinary slave.
The point where Huck completely changes his attitudes towards blacks comes when he is faced with the dilemma of turning Jim in. Huck fights with his conscience and also remembers the things that Jim has done for him. "I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there wher...

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...nable that ignorance and be a victory for racism and not a loss.
To consider banning this novel simply because it has situations and characters that are considered racist is superficial. The novel does show the relationships between blacks and whites in the nineteenth century. However, it shows these situations not to promote racism against blacks, but for the reader to better understand the subject. The character of Jim is shown to be caring and considerate towards Huck and more mature and human than the society allows him to be. Although he is shown to be this way, Twain shows the irony and hypocrisy of treating a mature man like simple property. The novel also shows how a boy, who is a product of this hypocritical society, comes to realize the true nature of his friend Jim and how deranged the societies beliefs are. In showing these ironic situations and the transformation that Huck goes through the reader sees racism in a real life setting. People who want to ban the book miss the idea entirely. Instead of getting rid of something that is supposedly racist, they only perpetuate racism by denying others a good source of material on the subject.
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