The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain presents the story of a 13-year-old boy who tries to escape the “sivilized” society by running away from all its constraints. On his way to freedom he meets Jim, a runaway black slave who is hiding from the villagers in order to remain alive. As their ways intersect and since both have similar goals, the two remain together in an attempt to find freedom. This is a pregnant theme in the novel and it applies differently on the two characters: they each want to achieve freedom but each type of freedom is different. They search for the same feeling but with completely different thoughts and wishes. My aim for this essay is to analyze Huck and Jim’s manners of perceiving independence and to illustrate by means of quotations some of the most clear and interesting passages regarding their goals. Also, I would like to discuss the theme of racism which is also an important one in the novel’s development.
How would you feel if a white boy couldn’t apologize to a grown black man because it goes against his faith? If I was in the black man’s position I would feel disrespected but I wouldn’t blame the white boy because he was brought up like that and it’s in his mentality to look at African Americans as property and with disgust. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain incorporates racism and slavery to show how and why it is wrong. He uses Huck, one of his man characters, to demonstrate how a white boy breaks forth from society’s racist ideas and the people around him to have a strong friendship with a slave name Jim, who becomes a fugitive. He uses Jim to demonstrate humanity and how it has nothing to do with the color of your skin. He also shows the struggle African Americans had to go through during that period of time in order to be free. Through friendship Huck learns that Jim is a regular human being just like everyone else.
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.
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
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
Throughout the 1800s, racism evolved to be less violent. As seen in Huckleberry Finn and Dances with Wolves, it became more acceptable for blacks and Native Americans to coincide without blatant and harsh interactions. Both Huckleberry Finn and Dances with Wolves illustrate the positive growth between both minorities and whites over the past hundred years. While racism is not totally eradicated, these sources foreshadow the future and a country without segregation.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a book that has racial attitudes towards a society. It is written in a language which is more artistic than usual. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer may be a book for young adults and children, but the Adventures of huckleberry Finn is not so much for kids. Mark twain shows the evil in his society by satirizing the institution of racism by using irony.
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
As controversial as he is, Mark Twain has been accused by some, of being a racist writer, whose writing is offensive to black readers. His novels have also been labeled as promoting slave-era stereotypes. Therefore, many people believe The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn deserves no place on today's bookshelves. To those of us who have delved wholeheartedly into Twain's wisdom and humanity, such accusations come across as ludicrous. To Twain's critics, the novel is superficially racist for the most obvious reason: many characters continually use the word "nigger". Yet, since the book takes place in the south, twenty years before the Civil War, such semantics were common occurrences. Therefore, should Twain be criticized for being historically correct? One should hope not. A closer reading of the novel also reveals Twain's serious satirical intent. In one scene, for instance, Aunt Sally hears of a steamboat explosion:
Perhaps the most controversial part of Huckleberry Finn is the ending, fondly dubbed by some as the Phelps Farm Fiasco. Directly preceding this is a scene where Huck struggles with himself, deciding whether to be “good” and turn Jim in or “go to hell” and free his friend. Dramatically, he chooses the latter -- casting aside his attempt to conform -- and heads to the Phelps farm in order to rescue Jim. However, once Tom appears, Huck and Jim both seem willing to play along with his ineffective, elaborate rescue scheme. Furthermore, Tom later reveals that Jim was free the whole time! Is this ending ironic or is it just bad writing? Bernard DeVoto spared no opinions when he said that “In the whole reach of the English novel there is no more abrupt or chilling descent” (DeVoto). DeVoto was correct -- and this is what makes the ending so
In United States, racism and ethnic discrimination has been an issue since the birth of this country. Racism was highly evident in the slave era where privileges and even basic human rights were sanctioned on the basis of skin color. In his American masterpiece, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” Mark Twain masterfully dealt with the volatile issues of racism and slavery and performed a ground breaking role in raising social awareness about these issues.
In the novel Huck Finn, the author repeatedly uses satire to ridicule the insanity of racial ignorance and inequity of the time period. With his masterful use of role reversal, irony, and the obvious portrayal of double standards, Twain exemplifies the injustices of different races contrasting them with example after example of counter-argument shown through the friendship and adventures of Jim and Huck together.
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.
On a superficial level The Adventures Huckleberry Finn might appear to be racist, and for the most obvious reason: many characters use the word “nigger” throughout the novel. But since the action of the book takes place in the south twenty years before the Civil War, it would be amazing if they didn’t use that word. A closer reading also reveals Twain’s serious satiric intent. In one scene, for instance, Aunt Sally hears of a steamboat explosion. “Good gracious! anybody hurt?” she asks. “No'm,” comes the answer. “Killed a nigger” (Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn 1409). But anyone who imagines that Mark Twain meant this literally is missing the point. Rather, Twain is using this casual dialogue ironically, as a way to underscore the chilling truth about the old south, that it was a society where perfectly “nice” people didn’t consider the death of a black person worth their notice. To drive the point home, Twain has the lady continue: “We...