Essay, Research Paper
The Presence of Racism In
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
There is a major statement among literary critics whether The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is or is non a racial novel. The inquiry comes down to the word picture of the character Jim, the black slave, and the manner he is treated by Huck and other characters. The usage of the word nigga is besides a point raised by some critics, who feel that Twain uses the work excessively much and excessively slackly.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn might look to be a racialist novel. The first clip Jim is introduced he is given a really negative description. The reader is told that Jim is illiterate, childlike, non really bright and highly superstitious. However, it is of import to recognize who is giving this description. Even though Huck is non a racialist kid, he has been raised by highly racist people who have influenced his ethical motives and beliefs. Couple is merely portraying the cooling truth about the old South ( Salwen ) . Jim is a really realistic slaved raised in the South during times of heavy racism.
Many characters use the word nigga throughout [ the fresh ] . But since the action of the book takes topographic point in the south 20 old ages before the Civil War, it would be astonishing if they didn t usage that word ( Salwen ) . Couple was merely seeking to capture the manner people in the South would hold really acted towards inkinesss in the South at that clip. He tries to do it every bit realistic as possible.
A closer expression reading besides reveals Twain s serious satiric purpose. In one scene, for case, Aunt Sally hears of a steamboat detonation. Good gracious! Anybody ache? she asks. No, comes the reply. Killed a nigga. This is to demo that white people truly didn T think of inkinesss as existent people, they were nil. Blacks were treated as less that homo and Twain needed to portray this. Some illustrations of the ways Jim is denigrated are him being locked up, holding to conceal his face in the daylight and how he by and large derided are necessary for historical truth. Twain had to expose Jim s intervention in this mode, even if it is non the manner he felt.
Yet, there are many points in the novel where Twain through Huck, voices his resistance to the slave trade and racism. In chapter six, Huck s father objects to the authorities s granting of right to vote to an educat
ed black professor. Couple wants the reader to see the absurdness of this statement. Huck s father believes that he is superior to this black professor merely because of the colour of his tegument. Besides in chapter 15 the reader is told of an incident, which contradicts the original childlike description of Jim. In this chapter the reader is presented with a really caring and father-like Jim who becomes really disquieted when he loses his best friend Huck in a deep fog. Couple is indicating out the connexion that has been made between Huck and Jim. He shows that it is possible for a white adult male and a black adult male to hold a really close friendly relationship without the subject of race of all time traversing one s head. When Huck foremost meets Jim on the island he makes a monumental determination, non to turn Jim in. The force of society and the force of friendly relationship are opposing forces by which he has to do his determination.
Many times throughout the fresh Huck comes really close to apologizing Jim s bondage. However, he is ne’er able to see a ground why this adult male who has become one of his lone friends, should be a slave. Through his battle, Twain expresses his sentiments of the absurdness of bondage and the importance of following one s personal belongings and an inferior adult male, but an equal ( Perry ) . By the terminal of their journey Huck disagrees with society s impression that inkinesss are inferior.
Claims that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is racist are merely efforts to damage the image of a authoritative novel. The claims come from people who are hurt by racism and wear T like seeing it in any context. However, they have to recognize that this novel and its writer are non racist, and the intent of the narrative is to turn out black equality.
Throughout the fresh society s voice is heard through Huck. The racialist and hateful disdain, which existed at the clip, is at many times present. But, it is critical for the reader to acknowledge these thoughts as society s and to acknowledge that Twain throughout the fresh differences these thoughts. Twain brings the ugliness of society and causes the reader to dispute the original description of Jim. In his elusive mode, he creates non an apology for bondage but challenge to it.
Perry, T.S. The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine May 1885
San Francisco Evening Bulletin. 14 March 1885
Salwen. Is Huck Finn Racist?
hypertext transfer protocol: //salwen.com/mtrace.html