Mark Twain's Ideas of Racism in Huckleberry Finn and Pudd'nhead Wilson

analytical Essay
2184 words
2184 words

Mark Twain's Ideas of Racism in Huckleberry Finn and Pudd'nhead Wilson

Mark Twain had written two very similar novels that are based on the ideas of racism, or prejudice against certain races,(in this case, Afro-American during his lifetime. These two novels, Huckleberry Finn and Pudd'nhead Wilson, depict a very satirical yet realistic view of the way society behaves and how people in general live and grow in different social systems or positions. Huck Finn depicts a strong basis on racism and society, where as Pudd'nhead Wilson illustrates how slavery and racism are portrayed in his society.

There is a major argument among literary critics whether The Adventures of

Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is or is not a racist novel. The question focuses on the depiction of Jim, the black slave, and the way he is treated by Huck and other

characters. The use of the word "nigger" is also a point raised by some critics, who feel that Twain uses the word too often and too loosely. Mark Twain never presents Jim in a negative light. He does not show Jim as a drunkard, as a mean person, or as a cheat. This is in contrast to the way Huck's (white) father is depicted where Twain describes using all of the above characterizations and more. In Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain develops the plot into Huck and Jim's

adventures allowing him to weave in his criticism of society. The two main characters, Huck and Jim, both run from social injustice and both are distrustful of the civilization around them. Huck is considered uneducated backwards boy, constantly under pressure to conform to the "humanized" surroundings of society. Jim a slave, is not even considered as a real person, but as property. As they run fro...

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...relations with other people. Being legally freed does not save Jim from

humiliation, and does not allow Chambers to gain back his selfhood. Those

who contribute to the formation of a racist living society, need to first

give up their deeply rooted beliefs. Since that rarely happened, Blacks were

still forced to see themselves as inferiors after being released from

slavery. In Hucks's story however, Twain gives us hope, by implying that if

a person is allowed to rely on his/her own inner standards of judgment,

without being influenced by society, human beings are capable of overcoming

racial barriers and can then coexist in a harmonious manner. These two superb

novels have the power to make its readers reevaluate their values, and

beliefs regarding slavery-a word, which still haunts this world, and is one

of America's unfinished social issues.

In this essay, the author

  • Compares mark twain's novels, huckleberry finn and pudd'nhead wilson, which depict a satirical yet realistic view of the way society behaves and how people in general live in different social systems.
  • Analyzes whether mark twain's huckleberry finn is a racist novel. the question focuses on the depiction of jim, the black slave, and the way he is treated by huck.
  • Analyzes the use of the word "nigger" in mark twain's novel, the adventures of huckleberry finn.
  • Analyzes how twain's adventures allow him to weave in his criticism of society. huck and jim run from social injustice and are distrustful of the civilization around them.
  • Analyzes how huck's character, miss watson, shows the hypocrisy of society in the book. the river is freedom than the land is oppression.
  • Analyzes how twain allows us to see jim for who he really is, a man.
  • Analyzes how the dialogue between huck and jim illustrates that jim is more than someone's property. he is a human being with feelings, and hopes for better future.
  • Analyzes how twain portrays jim as a good friend, but naive, and superstitious, despite being visited by both blacks and whites to use the hairball's powers.
  • Analyzes how twain's critics consider the novel to be racist, and quite outwardly so.
  • Analyzes how mark twain uses the casual dialogue ironically to underscore the chilling truth about the old south.
  • Analyzes how jim, as twain presents him, is the moral center of the book, a man of courage and nobility who risks his freedom.
  • Analyzes how huck finn and jim's adventures give us a chance to examine the society they live in.
  • Analyzes how mark twain weaves his beliefs of society or society's beliefs in his era into these two novels. he identifies and depicts the problems with society and the individuals that either create or were created by the wrongfulness of their times.
  • Explains that baby's chambers is partly black and she is the only one who can tell him from her.
  • Opines that one day, this could be her child's fate.
  • Analyzes how roxana is mistreated by her son, who sees her as nothing.
  • Narrates how tom happened to be good to her.
  • Opines that she was happy; happy and proud, for this was her nigger son, lording
  • Explains that tom's sudden walking out of his bed after he went to bed.
  • Analyzes how mark twain seems to suggest that we don't know ourselves.
  • Analyzes how the landscape passes by him, like a caravan of shadows, or like landscape seen in the film.
  • Opines that tom knows that slavery exists and it is wrong, but for the time being, it's wrong.
  • Narrates how tom rained cuffs upon the head and put up his left arm to shield it.
  • Describes the remark, "he arrived just at the right moment; i was full to brim.
  • Describes how they felt at home and at peace in the white man's parlor.
  • Opines that the other hand, had made a full confession of his acts and was sent to jail for.

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