Huck Finn the Racist

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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 .

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"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.
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