Racism In The Adventures Of Hu Term Paper

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Controversial in death as he was in life, Mark Twain has been seriously

accused by some of being a \"racist writer,\" whose writing is offensive

to black readers, perpetuates cheap slave-era stereotypes, and deserves

no place on today\'s bookshelves. Huck Finn is a fantastic example

of the racist style Mark Twain brings to the table. It is mostly

African-Americans that would like a book such as this banned. However,

this is ironic for it is equally racist against whites as it is against


The anti-black feelings of this novel are the most obvious

forms of racism. Mark Twain uses references to slavery and

demeaning words to show Jim s inferiority to white people.

\" only a runaway nigger \"(278) The other instance that showed

the subordinate status of Jim was in depicting him as a fortune

teller. \"Miss Watson s nigger, Jim, had a hair-ball as big

as your fist, which had been took out of the fourth stomach of

an ox, and he used to magic with it.\"(17) This portrayal is a

negative one because it portrays as ignorant. This common form

of racism is why black people want this book banned.

Next is the less obvious, yet still offensive, forms of racism

against whites. There was of course a form of ignorance in

nearly every white character in this novel, though not totally

noticeable. The use of racist and vulgar words was constantly

heard from the white adults as well as the children in the novel.

\" was Jim a runaway nigger?\"(126) Constant racist remarks

from white portrayed them negatively because it made them look

Although nearly the only racist remarks in the book were whites

insulting blacks, Twain had taken on the occupation of becoming

the whites racial profiler.

\" Old Miss Watson died two months ago, and she was ashamed she

ever was going to sell him down the river, and said so; and she

set him free in her will. \"(290) Tom Sawyer had been playing

Jim all along just for the fun of it. Jim could nearly have

died, thanks to Tom s immaturity. It shows the lack of care

the whites had for blacks, thus, the whites have lost nearly all

of their respect. This was Mark Twain s indirect way of showing

the whites inequality to the blacks.

In today s age, the ideas of racism have definitely changed.

Slavery is no more, and even the use of such language as

\"nigger,\" is considered vulgar. But, as children such as Huck

and Tom grew up considering slavery the \"normal,\" children today

grow up learning the exact opposite. There are still remnants

of racism today such as the KKK, but nothing as compared to

those during the times of slavery. I believe Mark Twain was

trying to depict not only how life was in those times, but also

how bad it could turn. Even though Huck Finn is fictional,

it deserves a spot next to the biography of Martin Luther

King Jr., and Malcom X. However, had I lived in the 1800 s,

I might not have thought the same.

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