Both Twain’s Jim and Black minstrel shows exemplify blacks alienation from society. Twain represents Jim’s disconnection in the early 1880’s by displaying the obvious diversity between black slaves and their white owners. Twain relays, “I (Huck) wouldn't shake my n-word, would I? – the only n-word I had in the world, and the only property" (Twain, 1985, chapter 31, para. 37). Although throughout the novel Huck develops a genuine friendship with Jim, the society he grows in prevents him from discerning Jim as anything but property. Twain makes it palpable that in the era of slavery, white humanity forces blacks into procuring a less valuable role, completely separated from the high regard of the white man.
Throughout the novel, Twain perfects the old-southern Missouri dialect and keeps Huck’s voice standard of the time period. He used a non-romantic approach and believed that: “plain American speech, the dumb American demotic, was an instrument flexible and rich enough for a major moral literature” (Gopnik 1). The crude vernacular Twain used accurately depicts a time of injustice and aggression towards blacks, making the novel appear “racist” through racial slurs and commentary. Each year we learn about white aggression, slavery, the Civil Rights movement, and more. We read textbooks and watch videos about our horrific past, but we don’t really know what went on. Through literature, we can examine it further. Twain allows us to experience the old south with Huck and hear his inner thoughts that paralleled the thoughts of many whites at the time. Twain uses a colloquial tone to grab our attenti...
The subject this book revolves around slavery, and how white folks’ mindset on black people was popular at that time. Their mindset involved treating black people as inferior to them, and how to them, they were not even considered human but property. Twain also shows how sometimes a fourteen year old boy (Huck) was more morally correct towards treatment of black people than many adults of his time. Twain presents this in a humorous way with its serious points. The issue is obvious throughout the story and makes the reader wonder how even “good” characters treate...
Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to expose the hypocrisy of racism and religion in society. In the period he wrote the book, there were two contradictory belief systems regarding race: one stated all men were equal, while the other stated the exact opposite, as it stated all blacks were inferior to whites. This divided society into two groups: the “civilized” (whites) and the “savages” (blacks). Through his writing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain displayed his opposition of this arrogant and hypocritical belief system, a belief system that unfortunately still exists in today’s world.
A common argument is that the novel is against slavery, because of the aforementioned egalitarian subtleties. However, at the time Twain published the novel, slavery had already ended. Therefore, the question remains why he set the book during the era of slavery. This was done in part to cause more sympathy for the slaves. Jim and Huck are in comparable situations, because they both seek liberation from slavery and abuse, respectively. This similarity makes Jim a more sympathetic character. Even racist readers during Twain’s time may feel empathy for Jim, because they will feel it for Huck after his father kidnapped, abused, and abandoned him in favor of getting drunk. Ultimately, they both get their freedom. Huck gets to be wild and free while his dad can’t hurt him anymore. Jim is legally free. But we know that he will never have equality. After deciding to sacrifice his freedom for the sake of Tom Sawyer, a rotten kid, Jim will always be treated as a second class citizen. This injustice cannot be overlooked. It laments racial oppression by implying that Jim deserves so much more than freedom—he deserves
Huck is considered by most people to be the protagonist of the book, Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry and Jim escaped their lives and went on a journey looking for a new life, as well as adventures. It is perceived that Jim is just a slave “along for the ride.” Although Huck is the title character and narrator, Jim guides his actions and gives him implied moral lessons throughout their adventures together. Without Jim, Huckleberry’s escape would be wildly diverse than the story known today.
As we look into issues of racism in the South we have to look at the time and setting of this book. It’s before the Civil War and during slavery when black people were property and not people. Twain’s intent on writing is to show the adventures of Huck and his close friends, and not on the issues of slavery. He does however tell the truth about slavery and the issues that surround it.
Though it may be received as controversial as to why Mark Twain presented so much racism, it can also be seen as a way to put the reality of racism in the eyes of others. Most white people in the 1880s supported the establishment of slavery and saw it as acceptable to say the N-word. Mark Twain wanted these attitudes to change, and his book furthered this mission. In today, many of these beliefs have changed, and people now realize how wrong slavery was. Though the establishment may be gone, many stereotypical thoughts have yet to be diminished. In chapter 26, the duke says; "Because Mary Jane 'll be in mourning from this out; and first you know the nigger that does up the rooms will get an order to box these duds up and put 'em away; and do you reckon a nigger can run across money and not borrow some of it?" (Twain 26) The duke basically tells Huck that all black men are thieves, even though he is a thief himself. Many people in today’s society fear black people, and often accuse them of crimes they did not commit. We can see this today through the cops who continue to shoot and kill innocent, unarmed black men. The book without even knowing it, offers us proof as to why certain things are believed today. People back then thought of back people as thieves, and this has yet to
Many readers misinterpret racist remarks by characters in the novel as reflections of Twain’s own beliefs supporting slavery. These claims, though, can be easily repudiated by some of Twain’s comparisons between whites and blacks made outside of Huck Finn; for instance when he said, “One of my theories is that the hearts of men are all alike, all over the world, whatever their skin complexion may be”. This brings into question the reason for Twain’s frequent use of the word “nigger”, not to mention the exceedingly racist views harbored by most characters.
...evailed over the “traditional” thinking of the Deep South; Huck came to see “blacks” as people too.
Literature has many different point of views, from which a reader can develop certain conclusions, theories, or ideas. At times those same pieces of work that inspire many can also bring a negative light onto others, resulting in the work being offensive. Many factors are taken into consideration when analyzing a work that causes a stir amongst readers, such factors as the author 's background, life experiences, encounters with different people, and also the time period it was written in. In the case of Mark Twain 's, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, its literary content causes much conflict amongst readers and has sparked an ongoing debate. Many argue that the work promotes racism through the casual use of the word "nigger" which is derogation
It is next necessary to analyze the way white characters treat Jim throughout the book. Note that what the author felt is not the way most characters act around Jim, and his feelings are probably only shown through Huck. In the South during that period, black people were treated as less than humans, and Twain needed to portray this. The examples of the way Jim is denigrated: by being locked up, having to