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Books

Racism And Society In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

What is your opinion on racism and the debate over slavery in the past American teachings? Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in today’s American society, which is considered to be non-racist, puts a lot of different thoughts about what is and is not racist into both reality and nonfiction. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the best American books to non-purposely advertise the american spirit; is also one of the the most known novels considered to be racist, and many feel that it should be taken out of the schools and teachings. If read, you will find the phrase “nigger” used widely in the book, considering the United States’ widely diverse culture and the history behind the nation, the debate over Huckleberry Finn is one that is influenced by many parents, educators, and most importantly, students. The novel is considered the one that all other American literature stems from, but it is almost constantly brought under scrutiny for the racial aspects, the sexist qualities and the almost laughable ending. The debate over whether or not the book is truly racist strongly impacts the decision on whether or not the book should be taught in the American public school classroom. While there are racial elements in the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the novel as a whole is not racist and should still be taught in the upper levels of public school because of the historical realism and the true meaning that Mark Twain meant to represent. The use of the n-word in Huckleberry Finn causes a huge reaction to the novel. Obviously, there are different reactions depending on culture, historical opinions, aspects to society and what race one happens to be. However, one also has to take into account Twain’s usage of the word, what he wants the word to symbolize and finally his attempt to narrate in the place of Huck( an uneducated child, struggling to follow society and his friends, living in the early 1800’s). While many do not approve of Twain’s usage in Huckleberry Finn, it is not implied that he uses the term in a racial way.

The use of the n-word in the novel does not necessarily have to represent the racial opinions of modern society, and does not make the novel racist. To many, using the n-word means that one implies racism and intends to degrade others. Though of course as of today, many use the word in many other interpretations and meanings, many of which of completely misunderstand the word and is usually sought to fit the description of many present day african americans, the use of this term is wrong, and in today’s culture, this is true. A white man uses the n-word, many feel that this is improper and racist, whether they are referring to an African American or not. According to Langston Hughes, who is quoted by Peaches Henry, “the word niggerto to colored people is like a red rag to a bull. . . The word nigger, you see, sums up for us who are colored all the bitter years of insult and struggle in America”. Yes there were many years were African Americans or really any other colored race were treated wrongly in the United States of America, both before and after the abolition of slavery, and in many cases to this day are still racially sought out as “different”. As a Caucasian American, one is typically taught that this term should not be used or that its a typically misdirected term, as it is harmful to others’ feelings and misleading. While the term should not be used by anyone in a hurtful manner, that does not mean that students should not be exposed to historical reality in the proper setting, the classroom. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain is not necessarily attempting to be racist. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, two young lads, one of which is a runaway slave (Jim), and the other being a young boy running away from society (Huck) face countless internal and external forces trying to seperate the two, all to most of the problems having to do at least somewhat with that Jim is a slave. As known to back in the day; all slaves are property and should not be friends with whites, nor be treated the same as whites. Huck buries himself in the decision of whether or not to turn Jim in or befriend him due to his being.

Mark Twain greatly resembles the young boys situation to society and continues to do so through the story. Jim is soon captured and Huck gets his chance to a his preferred lifestyle…though event change due to the two once again fighting against racist and seemingly unpleasant society; at this point of the novel society seems to be putting terms to their meant to be places. The completely unreliable narration of a uneducated young Huck Finn, only makes to seem that situations and predicaments in the novel are very much so over dramatized and or even lies. Which Huck proves to due quite typically through the novel through his journey. The issue with racism and society back in the period of time of the novel did create a many issues for both Huck and Jim in the novel. While there were also a many other issues that antagonized the characters, such as the “King and the Duke” (characters who pretended to be famous people to manipulate others to get there money and ultimately mislead and cause issues for Jim and Huck), racism and society were the main ones to blame. Mark Twain did an excellent job of relating the story to reality, historical issues, and the American spirit. Both Jim and Huck find there salvations and ultimate endings and the book ends with a nearly laughable ending.

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