Honors American English
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is absolutely relating a message to readers about the ills of slavery but this is a complex matter. On one hand, the only truly good and reliable character who is free of the hypocritical nature that other whit characters are plagued with is Jim who, according to the institution of slavery, is subhuman. Thus, one has to wonder about the presence of satire in Huck Finn. Furthermore, Mark Twain wrote Huck Finn after slavery was made illegal and his choice to set this story in a pre-civil war time when slaves were still held is significant.
What truly makes the thesis statement about race and slavery in Huck Finn complex is is that there are several traces of some degree of racism in the novel, including the use of the ‘N’ word. By using the word, the book portrays the atmosphere of the south and slavery at that time. David Bradley, a Mark Twain expert featured in “Born to Trouble: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, says that, “The ‘N’ was a word used during that time to call black people. It was a common word” (Born to Trouble). Apart from this, when Aunt Sally hears about an explosion and she asks Huck if anybody was hurt, he responds by saying “No’m,” “Killed a slave”(Peter Salwen). These few lines of dialogue say all there is to say about how blacks were viewed at that time; that they are “nobody”, less than human, with lives that are of little or no value to anyone. The racist attitudes of the south are most evident in the character of Huck Salas 2
Finn himself and how he relates to the runaway slave, Jim. Huck is nothing but a product of his environment and upbringing. Although he reflects the cruelty and injustice of the south towards blacks, he is totally unaware that this is the wrong attitude to take (Fiskin). At first when Huck is unsure how to deal with Jim, he displays attitudes that are a reflection...