Huckleberry Finn - Critical Essay

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the noblest, greatest, and most adventuresome novel in the world. Mark Twain definitely has a style of his own that depicts a realism in the novel about the society back in antebellum America. Mark Twain definitely characterizes the protagonist, the intelligent and sympathetic Huckleberry Finn, by the direct candid manner of writing as though through the actual voice of Huck. Every word, thought, and speech by Huck is so precise it reflects even the racism and black stereotypes typical of the era. And this has lead to many conflicting battles by various readers since the first print of the novel, though inspiring some. Says John H. Wallace, outraged by Twain's constant use of the degrading and white supremacist word ‘nigger', "[The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is] the most grotesque example of racist trash ever written" (Mark Twain Journal by Thadious Davis, Fall 1984 and Spring 1985). Yet, again to counter that is a quote by the great American writer Ernest Hemingway, "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn…it's the best book we've had…There has been nothing as good since" (The Green Hills of Africa [Scribner's. 1953] 22). The controversy behind the novel has been and will always remain the crux of any readers is still truly racism. Twain surely does use the word ‘nigger' often, both as a referral to the slave Jim and any African-American that Huck comes across and as the epitome of insult and inferiority. However, the reader must also not fail to recognize that this style of racism, this malicious treatment of African-Americans, this degrading attitude towards them is all stylized of the pre-Civil War tradition. Racism is only mentioned in the novel as an object of natural course and a precision to the actual views of the setting then. Huckleberry Finn still stands as a powerful portrayal of experience through the newfound eyes of an innocent boy. Huck...
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