Racism In Huck Finn Essay

analytical Essay
1882 words
1882 words

For nearly two and a half centuries people were worked to death and treated like animals just because of the color of their skin. Slavery was a racist social invention to degrade and use a group of people for their differences. In Mark Twain’s time he witnessed the prejudices against black people that lasted long after the abolishment of slavery. The social stigma around colored people did not change after slavery ended. Black people were still segregated in society and made to feel inferior. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by repetitively portraying white people as backwards and corrupt, Twain strives to overcome the racist belief of white superiority. In the south, where Twain grew up slavery was a common fact of life. Even though …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how pap is a verbally and physically abusive father to huck, whereas jim is patient and nurturing.
  • Analyzes how jim's nurturing and kind actions towards huck make him a father-like person for him, revealing the backwards thinking of society when pap, the least moral person in the book, has more rights than jim.
  • Analyzes how twain uses the deplorable fate of the duke and king juxtaposed with jim's eventual freedom to show that race does not equal wealth or happiness.
  • Analyzes how twain shows that white people don't always end up better off, even in a time of slavery and prejudice.
  • Analyzes how the civilized people huck meets believe themselves to be good christians, but jim's actions are more true to the morals of christianity than anyone else.
  • Analyzes how each generation passed down the grangerfords hatred of the shepherdsons, and instead of acting like true christians, the most well-respected families in town massacre each other.
  • Analyzes how twain's portrayal of jim as the most compassionate character in the novel shows the human qualities of african americans that people had refused to see during and after slavery.
  • Analyzes how mark twain's 'the adventures of huckleberry finn' tries to overcome the racist belief of white superiority.

JIm and Huck have formed their own utopia on the raft, but when the Duke and King arrive they act as white people would be expected to act around a slave and “they completely take over” (Valkeakari). Since Huck is only a boy and Jim is a slave, neither is an adult in their eyes. Even though Jim is a grown man, since he is a slave they think he is stupid and gullible enough to believe they are royalty. Throughout their time with Jim they continue to gradually diminish his value as a person and as a slave. They ¨[pretend] that Jim is a runaway slave captured by three white travelers”so that they can travel by day effectively putting Jim back in chains and in his place. While with the King and Duke, “Jim’s monetary value diminishes progressively” starting with their captured slave stunt. Originally JIm is meant to be sold for $800, but now as a caught slave they are only turning him in for $200. Then when the King finally sells JIm, he only gets a measly $40 for him. However, as they lessen JImś value in the eyes of southerners, JImś human value to Huck and the readers grows. JIm shares “guilt and sadness about his past misinterpretation of his little daughterś deafness” which reveals his “profound appreciation of thoughtful, attentive, and sensitive parenting” (Valkeakari). Jims revelations of his feelings make Huck believe “[JIm] was …show more content…

MIss Watson, Huck’s caregiver’s sister, thinks she is a fine Christian lady because she prays and presents herself civilly on the outside, but she “treats [Jim] poorty rough” (Twain …) She preaches about kindness and good manners, yet she considers selling Jim down South with no thought to how it may affect him and his family, only caring about the sum of money she will receive. Just because of Jim’s skin color the Christian ideal of “thou shalt not steal” does not pertain to Miss Watson even though she is stealing Jim’s freedom and life by condemning him to slavery. However, it was believed that “blacks shall not steal, especially when it [involved] stealing back their own enslaved children” (Taylor). Miss Watson thought she was better than Jim and deserving of heaven because of her literal imitation of the bible, while she was breaking the fundamental beliefs of Christianity. Further down the river, Huck meets another false Christian family, the Grangerfords. Every Sunday they go to church and listen to “pretty ornery preaching - all about brotherly love and such-like tiresomeness” and then they all have a “powerful lot to say about faith” and their convictions (Twain 129). Yet, later that same day, they aimlessly kill their neighbors because of a century-old feud (Taylor). Another fundamental

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