Mark Twain's Sympathy In Huck Finn

1350 Words6 Pages
Although slavery was abolished and blacks had been granted citizenship by 1870, they still were looked down upon as sub-human creatures by the majority of the white society. Blacks were perceived as people who did not pose any feelings or emotions. The establishment of Jim Crow laws, aimed to limit the power of blacks, brought additional determination by whites to oppress. When such racist laws were enacted, there were a small number of white people who felt the act was inhumane and, consequently, made it a mission to fight it. Mark Twain, considered one of the greatest pioneers of American literature, was one of those few people who really tried to expose what was wrong with society and express his anti-slavery position. In order to truly dissect Mark Twain and his believes as they pertain to racism and inequality, one has to look at his…show more content…
There are a number of occasions where Twain displays Huck’s sympathy for Jim. Hulk continuously helps Jim escape slavery even if it means that his actions, which are against the societal norms, will make him go to hell. We first see this expression of genuine sympathy when Huck and Jim are travelling on the river, and they come across two slave traders. When they inquire about who he is carrying in the raft, Huck ponders, “I didn’t answer up prompt. I tried to, but the words wouldn’t come. I tried, for a second or two, to brace up and out with it, but I warn’t man enough” (Twain 185). This is Huck’s first real opportunity to turn in Jim, but he struggles with it and chooses to protect Jim by lying to the men that it is his father who is sick with smallpox. This is an interesting scene where I believe Twain is trying to show the good side in Huck, making it clear that Huck’s guilty conscience in turning Jim in is stronger than the guilt of helping a runaway

More about Mark Twain's Sympathy In Huck Finn

Open Document