Huck Finn: Racist or Not Racist?

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Mark Twain went against endless amounts of criticism about his racist’s comments in his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The character of Jim is demeaning to African-Americans as he is portrayed as a foolish, uneducated, black slave. The “n” word is also used in the book describing him and many other African-American characters in the story. However, some see this book as anti-racist and believe that the use of racist’s comments is not racist at all. Those who think that are mistaken because Huck Finn in clearly a racist novel.

The most obvious piece of evidence towards proving Mark Twain’s novel racist is his use of the “n” word. The word is used more then 200 times in the novel and the way it is used makes it look like Twain believes that is a normal appropriate word. According to an African-American grandmother from Renton, Washington, however. “It’s not just a word “(Roberts, 1). This grandmother is showing her frustration as her granddaughter has to hear this word in school when reading “Huckleberry Finn”. If the word was used occasionally and had good reasoning for its use, then it would be appropriate. However, it does not have good reasoning for its use at all. For example, it is used with a slave’s name to describe them, “Miss Watson’s nigger, Jim, “(Twain 13) and it’s even used without their name to describe them, “Then we went to the nigger cabins.” (Twain, 188). As it is clearly seen, Twain’s unexplainable use of the “n” word does not help any argument proving he is not racist or that Huck Finn is not a racist novel. He obviously thinks that the word is just another word and using it is not a big deal.

Besides the use of the “n” word, there is one more aspect of the story that makes the novel seem racist. A character in “Huckleberry Finn” takes an awful amount of criticism and disrespect throughout the novel. There are plenty of times when Jim is being characterized as foolish and uneducated by the narrator. One aspect of...
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