In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, racism is a key theme. Throughout the novel, Twain reveals to society the evilness of mistreating another person simply because they have a different skin color. Twain masterfully shows the effects of racism on the character of Jim, a black slave and sometime companion of Huck during his journeys, by allowing the reader to feel what Jim feels when he is being mistreated. He accomplishes this empathetic move between Jim and the reader by giving accounts of Jim's mistreatment as witnessed by Huck.
In the novel after Huck stages his death, he runs away to Jackson's Island only to find himself with Jim, who had also run away. After they meet, Huck asks Jim why he had run away. Jim explains that he overheard Miss Watson agree to sell him to another slave owner, an act which would separate him from his family, even though she has promised never to do so. Here, Miss Watson shows racism towards Jim by treating him like an object that can be bought and sold. The fact that Jim is a human being and has feelings doesn't even cross Miss Watson's mind, relating back to Jim being an object that doesn't carry emotions. In this instance of racism, Jim has been stripped of his humanity and is seen only something that can be used.
After a few days on the island, Huck disguises himself as a girl and decides to go to shore. There, he meets a lady in a store named Judith Loftus. Mrs. Loftus tells Huck about the rewards out for Jim and Pap. Huck also learns of Mrs. Loftus's husband going to Jackson's Island to look for Jim. Mrs. Loftus believes Jim is the one that killed Huck and expresses her prejudice towards him by telling her husband to hunt Jim. In this case, Jim is being seen as nothing more than animal that people are going to hunt and collect a bounty on. Once again, he has been reduced to a possession that is only good for use by another person rather than a human being in his own right.
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