Racism In Huckleberryfinn Term Paper

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Throughout the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, racism and slaveryplay as an important theme . Mark Twain makes it as though Huck is fightingwith two thoughts. First is, should he turn Jim in. Second is, for him to see thewrong in turning his friend in, not viewing Jim as a slave. Twain doesn t seem tothink there is anything wrong with racism and slavery. But I believe that backwhen the novel was written, slavery and racism was an everyday thing. If thisbook would of been written in the 20th century, then there would be a bigcontroversy about it. Back in the time period when this book was written people were judge byhow many slaves they had. Huck even makes the statement, The old gentlemanowned a lot of farms and over a hundred nigger, when he was describing a verywealthy man. Huck thinks that slaves are natural and nothing is wrong with thembeing free or not being free. Huck doesn t think about Jim s freedom until Jimstarts to get excited about the idea. Huck s first objection to Jim gaining hisfreedom is when Huck says, Well, I can tell you it made me all over trembly andfeverish, too, to hear him, because I begun to get it through my head that hewas most free-and who was to blame for it? Why, me. I could get that out of myconscience, no how nor no way. This is when Huck beings to show his racismwhich is common for this time period. People thought that it was wrong for ablack person to be free. He doesn t see a moral dilemma with Jim being free. Heis opposed to the fact that he is the one helping him. This shows Huckmisunderstanding of slavery. Then as they start to travel together Huck does notmistreat Jim, this shows that Huck views Jim as friend or normal person like him.Huck sees having a slave only as owning the person, not actually being a slaveto someone. Therefore, when he helps Jim runaway it would be like stealing. Allof this confuses Huck and makes him not know what to do. So, he just waits andlets things play out as they float along. Twain tries to show how slavery ideology changed people, even thosewho didn t understand it fully. Twain wants to show how slavery could even

change Huck s thinking. Huck s mind can be radically changed to such opposingideas and morals about racism and slavery very easily. Also, it shows how Twainunderstands and relates to racism and slavery. He probably best shows hisunderstanding when Huck says, Well, I just felt sick. But I says, I got to do it-Ican t get out of it, when he is about to turn Jim in. Twain wants to show Huck schange in judgment. Now you are able to see Huck s newfound reluctance,brought on by Jim s words of appreciation. These words bring Huck back to therealization that Jim is a friend, not property. And even though Huck stillconsciously says he must turn in Jim, we don t believe he will do it. Huck hasnow subconsciously decided to protect Jim at all costs. Twain seems to show avery weird way of how racism and slavery have effects on the mind that wenever notice. This helps to show Twain s brilliance and great writing abilities. I believe that back when this book was written slavery and racism wasn ta big deal. Although this book does use the theme of slavery and racism assome what of a building block, it doesn t seem to represent it in a bad way. Butsome what of a way of how people over come bad ideas of other. Which inHuck s case is totally true. He started off as a rude young man, then blossomedinto a some what nice, understanding young man. He even said, They ain tright shutting him up, which shows he now is some what against slavery Ibelieve that racism and slavery were very wrong. This book has helped me toput a stronger grasp on my beliefs. In conclusion, the theme of racism and slavery played a very big part inthis book. It showed how someone, with time, can change there mind aboutslavery and racism. It makes me some what happy to see how racism andslavery changed someone. Racism and slavery were practiced back in the1800 s. Now that it is the 21st century, and there is no slavery, and racism isbad, the book s theme of a boy s adventure is turned into one about racism andslavery. The whole theme of racism and slavery truly shows how an everydaything in one period of time, can be blown way out of proportion through amatter of centuries

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