Ap English Language and Composition
19 December 2008
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain??™s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is not racist. It is simply realistically portraying the views and thinking of the ???old south???. Mark Twain purposely tries to show the racist nature of the south and how it is overcome by some one as simple as a 14 yr old child through observation and experience. Because of the effort to show the reader how and why slavery is wrong, Mark Twain??™s book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is clearly not racist.
We first see the realistic nature in chapter 2 when we first hear Jim speak. Because he is a slave he speaks in broken words. This is important to the books realistic nature because it shows how the slaves talked and communicated being that they were illiterate. It would take away the books meaning and reality if the slave spoke the same english as the widow. For we all should know that most slaves were illiterate and therefore could not speak english like their masters at the time. Blacks were not treated as equal human beings during these times, they were seen as nothing but the person there to do the chores; a mere servant. They did not have the time to go to school like the whites nor did they have the right. Jim symbolizes the nature of the black race in the south by the way he humbles himself to the superior race showing his loyalty and respect for the Widow and Huck.
Twain starts the book off by putting the reader in the view of a person who is overcome by the thinking and other views of the ???civilized??? people. How they think of blacks as slaves and servants that know nothing. The perspective that we see the slaves from at the beginning portrays them as another species different from the whites. But when read further we see that the perspective changes as Huck and Jim get away from the ???civilized??? world and into the natural world. Because then the readers perspective is no longer clouded by the thinking, and prejudices of others. We can see now that Jim and Huck are equal. This is evident in the way Huck treats Jim as they embark on their journey. Huck treats Jim like a fellow companion, Huck trusts Jim with his secret and Jim trusts Huck with his. When Jim tells Huck about the time he slapped his daughter for not obeying him and later found out that she was deaf and how it hurt him so bad it becomes apparent to huck that slaves have feelings just like he does and that he and Jim are the same, just a different color. Twain wrote in such a manner that the readers knowledge and emotions would grow alongside Huck??™s so that when huck comes to the conclusion we will ultimately come to the same one at the same time.
Clearly The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is not racist. It??™s a adventure story with a strong moral meaning. Not a book meant to offend anyone. When Twain wrote this book his intentions were for the reader to gain a strong moral cause against slavery and the prejudices against blacks. When the reader finishes the book they should come to the conclusion that the way Jim was treated is bad and they will not stand for the owner ship of a fellow citizen. Therefore the book should be taken into deep thought to motivate the reader into standing against prejudicious actions and thinking and for the cause of equality and kindness.