Mark Twain is under no circumstances a racist. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn shows the darkness and horror that is slavery. He demonstrates precisely how cruel and heartless slavery in our country is without heed for pleasantries. Twain’s entire background surrounds being around racism; he is writing from past experience. Growing up, Mark Twain was in a family which owned not just one, but hundreds of slaves. He grew up in a time where the idea of freeing blacks was a massive political issue. One of the prosecution’s arguments was that Pap is a racist, therefore Mark Twain is racist. This is not true. If someone grows up with an alcoholic father, the person has two choices: 1) they will either grow up and become a drinker themselves, or 2) they will never want anything to do with alcohol again. The latter is the case with Mark Twain; because Twain spent a lot of time around slavery, it allowed him to form his own ideas it. It’s clear that, in his mind, Twain does not think of slaves as lesser human beings. On the rare occasion that Twain does venture to compare blacks and whites, the comparison is not conspicuously flattering to the whites; on one occasion, he says, "One of my theories is that the hearts of men are about alike, all over the world, whatever their skin-complexions may be." Do these really sound like the thoughts of a racist man? Further, when a person spends a great amount of time around something, generally they become very well educated on that topic and form their own ideas; Mark Twain is a fantastic example of this very idea. He spent most of his days in the south around racist white folk, and his childhood around slavery. It would stand to reason that he learned, whether he liked it or not, the diction and ideas of a white racist. Mark Twain was writing from past experience. He was able to write a book about racism because he grew up with racist people, not because he was a racist person himself.
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