Huckleberry Finn Racism Essay

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The novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, is about a young boy named Huck, who befriends a slave named Jim. The two travel down the Mississippi river seeking freedom, and along their journey they encounter an odd assortment of characters. Many scholars believe that Mark Twain and additionally, his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is racist; however, the book as a whole is not racist, because Jim is arguably the most good-natured character within the book; additionally, the story is told through a racist white boy’s eyes; and finally, you must first look at the book within its historical context. Jim is the only major character in the novel who is black, and Huck spends a great deal of time with him. James Pearl stated, “Jim’s humanity makes him the novel’s most appealing character. Jim fills a gap in Huck’s life: he is the father that Pap is not; he teaches Huck about the world and how it works, and…show more content…
Shelley Fisher Fishkin commented that “Huck is too innocent and ignorant to understand what’s wrong with his society” (Fishkin 1). Equality is not a concept he is familiar with, Huck has never witnessed equality. At one point, Huck says,“It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger” (Twain 15). It took Huck a while to get the nerve to apologize to a black man, but why? People don’t come out the womb degrading black people; children are taught from birth that black people are inferior. Shelley Fisher Fishkin made the point that you must, “...realize that you are getting a black man, an adult, seen through the condescending eyes - partially - of a young white boy” (Fishkin 2). Huck is the one who is racist, not the book or Mark Twain; the book is told from the point of view of a white boy in the 1840’s, of course there are racist elements, that doesn’t mean Twain agrees with those extreme

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