Racism In Mark Twain's The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

analytical Essay
1177 words
1177 words

When a book uses the "N-word" 213 times (Carey-Webb 24) and portrays the African American characters as inferior to their white counterparts, it becomes easy to assume that the book’s author Mark Twain is using this novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as a form of racist propaganda to display upon America in the late 19th century post-Civil War Era. By the late 19th century slavery had finally ended across the United States, but racial tension, discord and discrimination were still very much at large. For those opposed to slavery in its original iteration, and, therefore, opposed to its continuation in this form, the only thing left to do was to continue fighting the battle for equality and rights in any way they knew how. …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how mark twain uses the "n-word" 213 times to portray the african-american characters as inferior to their white counterparts in the adventures of huckleberry finn.
  • Analyzes the controversy in critical sources surrounding the racism of huck finn.
  • Analyzes how shelley fisher fishkin debunks the argument that huckleberry finn is racist, arguing that twain's portrayal of jim portrays blacks in a negative light.
  • Explains that the book is a textbook illustration of antiracist uses of racism. the "n-word" is used to depict blacks as racist propaganda, while huckleberry finn is social commentary.
  • Analyzes the background of mark twain and huckleberry finn. jim, the slave of miss watson, has a wife and children that he is afraid of never seeing again if she makes good on her plan to sell him.
  • Analyzes the use of racial epithets in huckleberry finn, which drew both censure and commendation from the audience of the novel.
  • Analyzes how mark twain's use of the "n-word" was intended to make a statement about its use, in general, language and society.

The way Jim acts tends to depict blacks in a negative light, based on his language throughout the novel, that makes the African American character sound ignorant. Fishkin debunks this argument by saying “Jim’s speech represented Twain’s ‘pains-taking’ efforts to accurately record, to the best of his ability, “Missouri Negro Dialect.”...His use of eye dialect (like ‘wuz’) is minimal. His primary concern is communicating Jim’s very pain.” (Fishkin …show more content…

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

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