Huck Finn the Racist

analytical Essay
1334 words
1334 words

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. Racism was and forever will be a dark part of the American past, and no one can change that, no matter how many books one may alter.

In this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Missouri negro dialect; the extremest form of the backwoods Southwestern dialect; the ordinary “Pike County” dialect; and four modified varieties of this last. The shadings have not been done in a haphazard fashion, or by guesswork; but painstakingly, and with the trustworthy guidance and support of personal familiarity with these several forms of speech. I make this explanation for the reason that without it many readers would suppose that all these characters were trying to talk alike and not succeeding. (Twain 2)

This is how Twain starts his book off. In this "explanatory"(Twain 2) he calls it, one sees that he dares the reader to try and find meaning in the dialect of which his characters speak. He tries to make the reader understand that he, the writer, still realizes that this dialect is not the prettiest and even calls it an "extremest form"(Twain 2). The issue that one can see is that Twain wants the reader to understand this was the dialect of the time. Howe...

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...n's Racism Goes Beyond the N-Word: African-Americans have Every Right to be Offended at being 'Invisibled Out' by Mark Twain [Eire Region]." The Times: 18. ProQuest Newsstand. 2011. Web. 5 Apr. 2011 .

Paine, Albert B. A Biography The Personal Literary Life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Vol. 2. New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1912. Print.

"Should 'n-Word' be Removed from 'Huckleberry Finn'?" Sentinel & Enterprise: n/a. ProQuest Newsstand. 2011. Web. 6 Apr. 2011 .

"Racism | Define Racism at" | Free Online Dictionary for English Definitions. Web. 06 Apr. 2011. .

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Bantam Books, 1965. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how racism in mark twain's huckleberry finn is a large theme that seems to be reoccurring. good story telling appropriate to the era the story takes place in.
  • Opines that twain was an avid abolitionist. racism was and forever will be an dark part of the american past, and no one can change that.
  • Explains that in the book a number of dialects are used, such as the missouri negro dialect, the extremest form of the backwoods southwestern dialect and the ordinary "pike county" dialect.
  • Analyzes how twain dares the reader to try and find meaning in the dialect of his characters. censorship is one, while replacing the 219 times the word "nigger" with "slave."
  • Analyzes how twain wanted to make a point of letting readers know that abolishing slavery does not mean that racism and bigotry has gone with it.
  • Analyzes how the argument of replacing the word "nigger" with "slave" loses its effect on the reader.
  • Argues that even if one looks back to see the ugly head of racism, one still understands that it is essential to keep that part of the past a good reminder of why one is not racist today.
  • Explains that racism can be construed different ways, but huck meant no racism towards jim on their journey, that was a common term in his time.
  • Analyzes how the fuss over twain is a futile effort to silence the fact that racism happened and still does.
  • Opines that the link between mark twain and racism in the novel must be severed abruptly.
  • Opines that mark twain's literary genius would call all the professors and naysayers utter buffoons, for taking the n-word out of his work.
  • Concludes that mark twain is one of the most influential authors of our time. he is probably rolling over in his grave at the great travesty that is befalling his work.
  • Opines that twain may rest in peace. the berkshire eagle. huck finn's racism goes beyond the n-word: african-americans have every right to be offended.
  • Opines that 'n-word' should be removed from "huckleberry finn." sentinel & enterprise. 2011.
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