There is a current debate that the description of Jim in the novel "Huckleberry Finn" is racist leading to some schools banning it from their libraries. Jim's character is described as an uneducated and simple sounding; illiterate slave and some people have looked upon this characterization as racist. Jim is depicted as a slave in the south during a period when slavery was common place and widely accepted as the way of life. Slaves of this time period were not provided any formal education; never allowed any independent thought and were constantly mistreated and abused. The author in my opinion is merely describing how a slave spoke in those days and was trying to give you the true feeling behind his thought, while writing this tale. Despite a few instances in which Jim's description might be misconstrued as being racist, such as the use of the word "nigger", the reader should be able to understand that this is a fictional portrayal of two boys, one white and one black, during a time when slavery was common place. There is an obvious contrast of the mind set depicted in Twain's novel compared to then and now. The use of the word "nigger" is most certainly a very slanderous slang term that is not socially acceptable in present times. The dialect in which Jim is speaking indicates how Jim spoke do to his lack of education and refinement that white people refused to provide to slaves. This provision was not permitted as white slave owners viewed blacks as property and as being unable to learn proper grammar and structure of the English language. Some historians have stated that this was also so because it allowed the white's to maintain control over their slaves in order to "keep the upper hand", so to speak. We as a modern society should maintain an open mind when dealing with literary works such as Huckleberry Finn and bare in mind that novels such as these are written during socially diverse and sometimes opposite ways of thinking.
Huckleberry Finn Racism
Lately, there has been increasing discussion of the outward racist ideas expressed by Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn. In some cases the novel has even been banned by public school systems and censored by public libraries. All this controversy caused by one character Jim, a black slave. Jim is a black slave who runs away from Miss Watson.
To teach or not to teach? This is the question that is presently on many administrators' minds about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. For those who read the book without grasping the important concepts that Mark Twain gets across "in between the lines", many problems arise. A reader may come away with the impression that the novel is simply a negative view of the African-American race. If we believe that Huck Finn is used only as a unit of racism we sell the book short. I feel that there is much to be learned about Blacks from this book and it should not be banned from the classroom. This is only one of many themes and expressions that Mark Twain is describing in his work. I believe that in Huck Finn slavery is used as insight into the nature of blacks and whites as people in general. Overall, the most important thing to understand is that Mark Twain is illustrating his valuable ideas without pushing them upon the reader directly.
Huck Finn contains very blatantly obvious clues of some very harsh and racist language. The word “nigger”, due to very severe discrimination with different skin tones in the past history of the world, will forever and always be seen in a negative light. With its’ “obscenity, atheism, bad grammar, coarse manners, low moral tone, and antisouthernism,” there have been many new editions of this controversial novel. While I believe that it shouldn’t be censored because of Mark Twain’s overall message, many other authors differ in opinion. Gribben, of Auburn University, was one that rewrote the book to have a more beautiful flow, eliminating all the gruesome truths: “"The n-word possessed, then as now, demeaning implications more vile than almost any insult that can be applied to other racial groups," he said. "As a result, with every passing decade this affront appears to gain rather than lose its impact." His point is valid, but it still doesn’t address Twain’s use of the language to actually reinforce how badly the slaves her treated. If the “n-word” was really replaced in the book, and slaves was to be put in its’ place, it wouldn’t seem as demeaning, which was Twain’s underlying reason. Everyone is conscientious of how wrong the language is, but in high school students know how much language affects how a novel is read, too. Words are words, until they have deeper meaning. Huck Finn is primarily controversial because it strays away from the idea that slaves are “bad, wrong, and evil”, even called “barbarians” in my very own AP European History textbook. Twain didn’t use the language to be racist—it might...
Huckleberry Finn is an entertaining story, but its frequent use of a taboo word is a stain on the novel’s history. The use of the “N-word” in Huckleberry Finn has been hotly contested. Many schools have banned the book for its use of the slur. The slur is used many times throughout the book, in a heartbreakingly casual manner. Huckleberry Finn’s continual use of the N-word is shocking, offensive, and outdated. This is authentic to the time period, but upsetting to the modern person. But I believe that Twain’s use of the N-word is necessary to the story.
Despite the fact that the N- word is known to be one of the worst racial slurs in history, it should be kept in Huckleberry Finn in order to maintain the true message of Mark Twain’s story, to properly portray the time period, and to explain the progress society has made. Many schools are taking the novel out of their curriculum or using the censored book because the word makes students or teachers uncomfortable, but the original text should remain in schools. In life people are going to get uncomfortable with certain terms or situations, but they all attribute to final maturation of society. The word is not being used to be harmful to today’s society, nor is it’s purpose to distract the readers from the moral of the story. The word actually enhances the story and makes the readers uncomfortable in order for them to
Throughout the classic novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain continuously and loosely uses the word "nigger." In the society of the year 2002 that word has become one of the most evil and hated in the English language. It is thought of as so bad that it is rarely even spoken, as people prefer to be politically correct and say "n-word" in it's place. The use of this word has caused the book to be banned and censored by many schools across the country, as people want to shield children from the supposed racism of the novel. It was found to be the fifth most challenged book of the 1990's. This word is definitely terrible and has no place in the current society, but it is important to examine Twain's motive behind the inclusion of this word in the story. The book should not be dismissed as cruel and racist before all of the facts are examined. Before forming a wrong opinion, the evolution of the word and the reasons behind it's use in the novel should be examined. After learning all of the facts, the use of the word in the book shouldn't be looked as evil, but as a reminder of how far society has come.
One of the innumerable reasons social media has made such rapid progression throughout the past decade is the craze of deciphering current events in a matter of seconds on the Internet. Oftentimes, prevalent information is accessed instantly for fear of being swept away from mainstream knowledge. Therefore, the notion is inconceivable to fans of instant gratification as to why Mark Twain would postpone transcribing a novel until two decades following the event. Generally, historical events are best rendered by those who describe what had happened a few weeks or months following the incident. However, Huckleberry Finn was conceived by an author twenty four years following the liberating victory of the Civil War. It was certainly not to avoid
In today 's culture, we are still dealing with the racism. Racism is carried over in the books read in schools. In Mark Twain 's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the people throughout the novel are dealing with racism against black Americans in the rural south. The novel by Twain was dealing with racism in the late 1870’s and early 1880’s. Mark Twain had to be a little bit of a racist when he wrote this book because of how harshly he writes about black people in the book; and how well he writes about the beliefs of the racist people in the book. Twain’s novel is important to keep in schools because it teaches kids how our nation was just after the 13th amendment was passed. The 13th amendment abolishes slavery in the United States.
The United States has never gotten free from being a racist society since the first African slaves came to this land in 1619. The young generation inherits racism from the ancestors and the society. Huck, a thirteen-year-old boy, can speak one of the most offensive words, the “N-word,” in his conversation without realizing its harsh effect on others. People who read the novel will think that Huck is a sinful racist who does not have any concerns about people’s sensitivity. However, Mark Twain, the author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, does not write the word only once in his novel. The “N-word” is mentioned two hundred fifteen times in his novel. Twain writes this word on purpose to convey something more than a racist word or a joke. Before starting the novel, Twain writes the letter to William Dean Howell that, “[I] began another boys’ book” (Otfinoski). However, after he finishes his novel, “What started out as another boys’ book became something very different” (Otfinoski). Huck Finn is full of racism, corruption and murder like the society which Twain lives at that time. The readers cannot criticize Twain and Huck as racists or Jim as an inferior because Twain reveals that the society determines their identities regardless of their true natures.