Issue of Slavery on a Micro and Macro Level Depicted in Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Issue of Slavery on a Micro and Macro Level Depicted in Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Slavery is a gripping issue that can be viewed through an individual's experiences or through the general experiences of all those affected. The book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain does just that. Readers see a micro perspective through Jim's experiences and a macro perspective through the constant illustrations of slavery throughout the book. Twain examines the issue of Southern slavery in his novel from a macro and micro perspective in that he compares and contrasts Jim's personal experiences such as being viewed as property, the desire for freedom, and his compassionate feelings to those of other slaves in general.
On a macro level, slaves have always been viewed as property, “usually in the same terms as those applied to real estate” (Becker). The first event that shows Africans being treated as property takes place in 1619 when a cargo of Africans was traded for food by a Dutch sailor, forcing the Africans to become indentured servants. African Americans started growing in numbers from this point on and, by the 1680s, had become an essential part of the economy of the colonies. There is even proof of slavery in the Bible, shown in Leviticus, “However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance.” (Leviticus 25:44-46, NLT). Slaves being viewed as property is common all throughout history.
Jim is treated as property at many points during the beginning of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which makes for an effective viewpoint of slaves being treated as property on a micro level. Jim is introduced into the story as a household slave of Miss Watson's. Later on...

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The Lockman Foundation, NASB Holy Bible. Anaheim, California: Foundation Publications, Inc. 1997.
Lombardi, Esther. “What does Mark Twain say about slavery in Huck Finn?”.
30 November 2009
Pylant, James. “Slavery Separated Families”. Genealogy Magazine. 9 December 2009
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 7 Dec. 2009.

Sylvester, Melvin. “A Journey From Slavery to Freedom”. Long Island University.
10 December 2009 .
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Tim Doherty Associates, Inc., 1988.

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