Analysis Of Racism In Huck Finn

This essay has a total of 1160 words and 5 pages.

Analysis Of Racism In Huck Finn

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.

I believe that "Huck Finn" teaches a reader two important lessons about the true nature of
people. Throughout the book, one of these main lessons is that Blacks can be just as
caring as whites. The white characters often view the blacks as property rather than as
individuals with feelings and aspirations of their own. Huck comes to realize that Jim is
much more than a simple slave when he discusses a painful experience with his daughter.
Jim describes how he once called her and she did not respond. He then takes this as a sign
of disobedience and beats her for it. Soon realizing that she is indeed deaf, he comforts
her and tries to make up for the act of beating. The feeling that Jim displays shows Huck
that Jim has a very human reaction and the fact Jim says, "Oh Huck, I bust out
crying....'Oh the po' little thing!" (Twain 151), only further proves to Huck that Jim is
as caring as he is. Huck's realization allows him to see that Jim is no longer the
ordinary slave.

The point where Huck completely changes his attitudes towards blacks comes when he is
faced with the dilemma of turning Jim in. Huck fights with his conscience and also
remembers the things that Jim has done for him. "I'd see him standing my watch on top of
his'n, stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I
come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the
feud was; and such likes the times: and would always call me honey, and pet me and do
everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was..." (Twain) These two key
scenes are among many that illustrate the idea that Blacks can be as caring and emotional
as Whites - one of the main lessons of the book.

The second main lesson that the book teaches is that the world is full of hypocrites. Huck
realizes that through his experiences with Jim that Blacks are not the type of horrible,
unworthy, piece of property that they are made out to be. People like Miss Watson tell
Huck that blacks were nothing but property and should be treated as such. Huck now knowing
Continues for 3 more pages >>

  • Charles Dickens
    Charles Dickens Charles Dickens Dickens has always presented problems for literary criticism. For theorists whose critical presuppositions emphasize intelligence, sensitivity and an author in complete control of his work the cruder aspects of his popular art have often proved an insurmountable obstacle, while for the formulators of traditions his gigantic idiosyncrasies can never be made to conform. If difficulties such as these have been overcome by the awareness that Dickens sets his own stand
  • Catcher in the Rye Vs Huckleberry Finn
    Catcher in the Rye Vs Huckleberry Finn J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye Compared to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn All famous American authors have written novels using a variety of characters, plots, and settings to illustrate important themes. Throughout literary history many of the same themes have been stressed in different novels. In J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, each author writes about the common theme of coming of age. The
  • The spain cervantes lived in
    the spain cervantes lived in The Spain Cervantes Lived In Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra, writer of the world famous novel Don Quixote, was born in Spain in 1547. He was the son of a practical doctor, and although they were "hidalgos," a title of lesser nobility, they were relatively poor. Cervantes\' life can be described as somewhat chaotic. Coincidentally, the time period when he was alive was also considered chaotic in Europe, and particularly in Spain. Europe as a whole was going through the
  • Regionalism and Humor in Huck Finn
    Regionalism and Humor in Huck Finn Effective message through dialect, regionalism, and humor in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Some writers use dialect, regionalism, and humor in their literary works to enhance their themes. Mark Twain’s ability to write in the vernacular allows him to capitalize on humor and dialect. In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the author conveys an effective message through dialect, regionalism, and humor in southern cultur
  • The Scene of the Screen Envisioning Cinematc and E
    The Scene of the Screen Envisioning Cinematc and Electronic Presence This essay is published in Materialities of Communication., eds. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and K. Ludwig Pfeiffer (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994): 83-106. A much shorter version also appeared in Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanties 10.1 (Fall 1990): 50-59, under the title "Toward a Phenomenology of Cinematic and Electronic Presence: The Scene of the Screen." It is used here with the permission of the author. I
  • Handmaids Tale
    Handmaids Tale In the course Y2k and The End of The World, we\'ve studied apocalyptic themes, eschatology, and for some, teleology. Apocalypse, which is to unveil or reveal, eschatology, which is a concept of the end, and teleology, the end or purpose to which we are drawn, are all themes used in Margaret Atwood\'s The Handmaid\'s Tale. The book is apocalyptic in that it revolves around dystopian ideals. Atwood creates a world in which worst-case scenarios take control and optimistic viewpoints
  • Use of Language in Catcher in the Rye
    Use of Language in Catcher in the Rye The Language of Catcher in the Rye The passage of adolescence has served as the central theme for many novels, but J.D. Salinger\'s The Catcher in the Rye, long a staple in academic lesson plans, has captured the spirit of this stage of life in hypersensitive form, dramatizing Holden Caulfield\'s vulgar language and melodramatic reactions. Written as the autobiographical account of a fictional teenage prep school student, Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in th
  • Grapes of Wrath: Biblical Alusion
    Grapes of Wrath: Biblical Alusion John Steinbeck always makes it a point to know about his subjects first hand. His stories always have some factual basis behind them. Otherwise, he does not believe that they will be of any value beyond artistic impression. Therefore, most of his novels take place in California, the site of his birth and young life. In preparation for writing his novels, Steinbeck would often travel with people about whom he was going to write. The Grapes of Wrath was no excepti
  • Lucky Jim
    Lucky Jim Characters There is more than a touch of the picaresque rogue in Jim Dixon. Jim perpetrates a succession of practical jokes, tricks, and deceptions on other characters in the novel, especially those who offend his democratic sensibility. He has a talent for pulling faces and projecting voices gestures Amis uses to enhance Jim\'s social commentary. He is sometimes aided and abetted in his roguery by his fellow boarder, the salesman Bill Atkinson. On campus, in addition to Welch, Johns,