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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.
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.
The largest debate as to why the novel is a racist work is because of the use of the "N-word." Although there is an abundance of evidence pointing towards the theory that Mark Twain was a racist, therefore making the book itself a reflection of his ideologies, Huckleberry Finn is created as a form of social commentary, on the racism of the time period. As reflected in the essays in Satire or Evasion?, the perspectives on the views of racism in Huckleberry Finn vary widely (Arac 113) and it can be concluded that “there is no single ‘black’ position on Huckleberry Finn any more than there is a monolithic white one” (Leonard
The story takes place when black people were not considered equal to white people. Back then the word "nigger" referred to black people. Mark Twain did not write the word to degrade black people or to be racist, he wrote it to be historically accurate of the times. " To say that Twain is racist because of his desire for historical accuracy is absurd." "...search through all of Twain's writings, not just the thirty-plus volumes of novels, stories, essays, and letters, but also his private correspondence, his posthumous autobiography and his intimate journals, and you'll be hard put to find a derogatory remark about the black race, and this at a time when crude racial stereotypes were the basic coin of popular fiction, stage comedy, and popular songs."
The Racial Debate of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, throughout the years, has provoked many debates pertaining to racism. A variety of individuals believe that Mark Twain expressed apparently racist ideas. The reason being, this novel shows the relationships between blacks and whites in the nineteenth century and all the ugliness that accompanied these associations. However, this novel is not a racist novel; it shows these situations not to promote racism, but to bring a better understanding of the subject and how one can overcome individual prejudices and grow from these experiences. This novel shows Huck Finn, a product of this insufferable society, coming to the realization of how uncivilized and ignorant his white peers have become.
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 this book, one is given insights on the ideals of society, different beliefs, the origins of stereotypes, and so much more. The book can be seen as a peek into forgotten history, containing facts about how people lived in the 1840 that most people do not know about. Though it is agreed that the novel contains way too much racism and offensive language, such aspects of American history should not be hidden. Whether people want to believe it or not, the 1840s was a racist era in history when racism was accepted. Mark Twain was an abolitionist, but even he was imperfect.
David L. Smith thought that Huckleberry Finn was an anti-racist novel, despite the language and descriptions that Twain used when referring to Jim. Smith is referring to that race status that was prevalent during the time period in which Twain wrote the novel. Toni Morrison would agree that “race” meant white supremacy because of the last scene in the novel with Tom Sawyer and the attempt to free Jim. Freeing Jim would have been a menial task, however, Tom wanted to create an elaborate plan with unnecessary obstacles in order to free Jim. This scene showed that Tom did not care about the actual freeing of Jim because he took all these unnecessary steps and because he knew that Jim was already free.
Web. 25 Apr. 2011. . 7. Snyder, Lawreence.