Frances W. Kaye explains in his article, “Race and Reading: The Burden of Huckleberry Finn”, that racism is a lot more complex than most may think. Many people know what racism is, but only few understand the true nature behind its meaning. Kaye’s objective is to show readers the buried context of racism that oftentimes goes unnoticed. He shares his thoughts on how racism can be uncomfortable to only half of the people it comes across, the rest of whom fail to comprehend the outlying effects that result from the unfortunate practice. Kaye goes on to give examples of this occurrence by discussing the many instances of racial strife that took place before the civil war, and the negative outcomes that resulted from it. I believe that Kaye defines his writings in a way that many can agree with. Fundamentally, he believes that racism is highly overlooked. He argues that it is observed, but ultimately, neglected. The fact remains that racism is an uncomfortable subject for many people, but at the same time, it is one that needs to be addressed so that more and more people can truly understand the affects that it has in today’s world.
I agree with Kaye’s statement that racism goes beyond an arbitrary interpretation of color. Rather, the act of racism plays a much larger role in the lives of many by the fundamental way it influences the way people think and act. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written in a time in which racism was the norm. Those in that society could do anything to a slave, and be rewarded rather than reprimanded. These slaves were not acknowledged as human beings; instead they were treated like beasts, thought to be undeserving of any freedom or respect. In Mark Twain’s novel, Huck undergoes a gradual transforms to the point that he is able to apologize to Jim, a run-away slave, when he acts unfairly. Huck and Jim are able to become good friends, regardless of the fact that Jim is of a different color. If he had ever been caught, many in...
Cited: Kaye, Frances W. "Race and Reading: The Burden of Huckleberry Finn." Canadian Review of American Studies 29.1 (1999): 13-48. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 138. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.
Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Random House, 1996. Print.
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