top-rated free essay

Huck Finn

By justin5152 Dec 16, 2012 1743 Words
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classical novel that has been considered a masterpiece throughout history, but the book also displays a very controversial side to it. The novel displays power characters and a touching storyline, which helps the story so moving. Consequently, people have hatred towards the novel because they believe the novel portrays racism, but in some cases, others believe it does not. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain conveys the critical meaning that racism is not presented in the novel by using characterization of Jim and Huck, showing the point of view used, and the use of diction in the novel.

In The Adventures of Hucklefinn, Mark Twain created Huck and Jim, probably the most beloved characters in novel history. As Huck and Jim travel down the perpetuous river, Huck has to battle against his own conscience.This idea being that Huck has to face the natural prejudice of his society against African Americans and his own stupidity.The reason why Huck displays the twelve year little boy acts, adventurous and hot headed, is that it helps support Huck’s own personality. Also Huck does display some wit in the story. For example, when Huck is questioned about his raft and who is in there. He quickly responds with the witty comment about that his family had small pox, which gave the guards a apprehensive view. Eventually throughout the story, Huck finds out that Jim shows his mourning feelings toward his family.(Telgen 9) This is supported by the statement, “I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for their’n. It don’t seem natural, but I reckon it’s so,”(162). The monumental decision that Huck makes the act of helping Jim. He displays this because he believes that African Americans are inferior.

Huck’s ideas and views on convey a humorous but critical point to the novel. Through out the novel which is important, Huck never laughs in the dialect. Something to note, society tries to convert Huck’s values and beliefs towards African Americans. After awhile of contemplation, Huck comes up with the decision of following his true thoughts instead of the persuasion of his society.He does not fully comprehend the judging and order towards slavery. Some critics have mentioned, Huck never fully understands the actuality of racial prejudice throughout the novel, but he seems to find a way to slip around the society’s view. However, Huck is not able to fully comprehend the racial stereotypes towards African American slaves in 1800s (Telgen 9). The one important action Huck does is the showing ignorance towards his father concerning the rants about a black man able to vote instead of him. Twain’s novel shows a true depiction of slavery in the United States in the 1800s.

Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Huck Finn with the intention of describing how African Americans were treated and display how society viewed them in the deep south. The novel takes place mostly on the Mississippi River, which plays a major role with the bonding of Jim and Huck. Twain did this intentionally to show the pain and hardship that Jim and Huck experienced, which caused them to become closer. The most critical action that Huck portrayed was the showing ignorance towards the common view against black people. This is a truly hard obstacle to overcome.

Another characterization between Jack and Huck is the dialect used. The dialect varies throughout the story to show the major difference between them. For example, Huck quotes What do dey stan’ for? I’s gwyne to tell you. When I got all wore out wid work, en wid de callin’ for you, en went to sleep, my heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los, en I didn’ k’yer no mo what become er me en de raf’. En when I wake up en fine you back agin’, all safe en soun’, de tears come en I could a got down on my knees en kiss you’ foot I’s so thankful. En all you wuz thinking ‘bout wuz how you could make a fool uv ole Jim wid a lie. (287) . Huck’s combines words and uses colloquialisms to help show the distinction between Jim and himself. Jim’s dialect is very easy to spot. For example,"S’pose a man was to come to you and say Polly-voo-franzy-what would you think?”(96).As many readers can tell, his dialect from the novel is harder to comprehend, but this does show the actual depiction of an uneducated African American in 1800’s. This was Twain’s intention to do this instead of seeming racist.

Next is the point of view used in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The novel uses first person point of view from the eyes of Huck. The critical reason for doing this is to show the main theme in the story: do what's right even when there is pressure against you. Twain puts the readers through Huck’s point of view to also show how he changes throughout the story. For example, Huck ends up with a feuding family, the Grangerfords and the Sheperdsons, which he experiences the first time seeing death and bloodshed. When Huck sees the death of a Granger ford, “It made me so sick I fell out of the tree. I ain't a-going to tell all that happened -- it would make me sick again if I was to do that. I wished I hadn't ever come ashore that night to see such things” (171). Huck’s comment about this makes this statement alone a monumental and critical point in the story. The reason why is this allows Huck to portray the theme in the story. By using first person point of view, this helps aid the thoughts and actions used. By using this technique, this allows Huck Finn to be more emotion towards readers. For example, the duke and the king pretend to be the brothers of a Peter Wilks to get his rich estate. While this is happening, Huck’s point of view displays the powerful bond between Peter Wilk’s sister and himself.By doing this horrible action from the duke and the king, Huck relizes and quotes, “I says to myself, this is a girl that I'm letting that old reptile rob her of her money!” (251). Most commonly in first person, the author can allow the character to discuss the important events. Twain conveys that this shows Huck’s emotion towards Jim and him becoming more attached to Jim. Another example in the story is when the Duke and the King get tarred and feathered which Huck quotes , “Human beings can be awful cruel to one another” (325). This is a monumental quote to the story because this basically states the main theme in the story. The theme of the story was aided by using first person and the development of the theme: do what is right even when there is pressure.

Twain uses tone and diction to help create a image to the readers. The tone of the story varies throughout. It begins with a degrading tone because of the judgment towards African Americans in society. This tone last through most of the novel until later it makes a dramatic switch. Then the tone suddenly falls into a more happy and understanding tone. This is supported when Huck turns his morals against his own society ethics. Huck decides he would rather “go to hell” than trick Jim and turn him in (Telgen 10).

Next is the diction presented in Huckleberry Finn. This is the reason why the novel is one of the most controversial. The reason being is the use of the word “nigger”. This is the one word which caused all of the chaos among readers. Other critics powerfully stress Twain’s overall view concerning race and slavery, while other critics view the book as a true depiction on racism (Telgen 9).Twain contrasts the diction of Huck’s life living with his aunt and on the raft with Jim. This helps convey the complete change in tone by starting with anxiety and nervousness to relaxation and peacefulness. Without the use of Twain’s diction, this would not have completely connected the tone together. When critics or readers exam the novel, they usually have hard time speculating the stereotypical actions towards slaves (Jim) and the endless struggle to bring Jim to his family (Telgen 10). After readers and critics view the novel, this brings them to their own conclusion towards the novel. That is the reason why this novel has had so much discussion and chaos. People do not think of the time the novel was actually written. This was written in the 1800s, which slavery was highly prominent. Twain was not trying to be racist, but he was trying to show the true depiction of slavery in his time. This then brings about the discussion of slavery in the book, which people bring a new meaning to it. By doing this, it caused readers to form an opinion on slavery. After all of the chaos from the critics and readers, this then led to the banning of the book.

The main corporation of banning books is called the NAACP. The NAACP is considered the largest and oldest of its time for being the civil rights organization in the U.S. The organization is viewed as the most powerful company towards banning books. The Niagara Movement was a shorter version of the NAACP, but it did not incorporate the cooperation of blacks and whites (Rhym 29). After the chaos caused by the word “nigger” in Huckleberry Finn, people complained to the NAACP. After receiving so many complaints concerning the book, the novel became banned in some schools. One teacher commented about the book, “Assuredly Twain knew that Huck¹s attitude could be contagious, and that blacks had more reason than whites to be alienated and angry,”(Webb). This shows the anger towards the novel because of the one word, which changed the thinking of many readers. Toni Morrison, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, comments, “There is a interdependence of slavery and freedom, of Huck¹s growth and Jim¹s serviceability within it, and even of Mark Twain¹s inability to continue, to explore the journey into free territory,” (Webb). Morrison believes the opposite of what the first comment concerns. The decision is split betweening banning the book or not, but Huckleberry Finn will always be a literary classic.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Huck Finn

    ...human? In the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn we see a boy by the name of Huck have a change in mindset on his African American friend Jim. Huck starts off with the normal mindset of society in his period of time. This though changes throughout the book. We see Huck view Jim as inhuman, to a human who is also his best friend. At the ...

    Read More
  • Huck Finn Escape

    ...of escape in the two novels? First of all the two authors wrote their books in different times and their ideas of escape will differ, for example Huck was written in the late 1800’s when slavery was still rife in many of the southern regions of America the idea of escape has a literal meaning. Alternately to this Catcher in the Rye was writ...

    Read More
  • Huck Finn: Appearance Versus Reality

    ...Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there are characters and situations that show how appearances can differ from reality. The three main instances are the Grangerford and Shepherdson feud, through the Duke and the Dauphin, and Miss Watson. The difference between appearance and reality is easily seen through the Grangerford and Shepherdson feud. ...

    Read More
  • Huck Finn Themes with Substantiated Quotes

    ...Huck Finn – Themes Formal Education vs Moral IntelligenceRepeatedly Huck encounters situations which require a moral decision. He usually can differentiate between a bad moral choice and good one. He has no time for stories supplied to him by Widow Douglass and Miss Watson. He finds this life constraining and false and would rather live free...

    Read More
  • Huck Finn

    ...In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, two characters reject society, and spontaneously adventure the south. In this novel, they run into many endeavors in which they must overcome. In this essay, I will reveal how characters such as Miss Watson, Mrs. Loftus, Aunt Sally, the Dauphin and Duke, the Sheperdsons and Grangerfords and Huck Finn expose...

    Read More
  • Huck Finn

    ...Huckleberry Finn Persuasive Essay In Mark Twain’s Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, Huck decides to flee from civilization. Huck discovers that Tom Sawyer’s aunt, Aunt Sally is trying to adopt him and make Huck fit into normal society. After witnessing all the cruel and inhumane things that affected Huck, returning back to civilization woul...

    Read More
  • huCK fINN

    ...Diana Masch Huckleberry Finn (Is Huck a strong character or a weak one? Is he a hero or an anti-hero? Is he a victim of circumstance, or does he make his own destiny? Does Huck think for himself, or does he let other people influence him too much?) Huck is the narrator and protagonist in the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He comes...

    Read More
  • Huck Finn

    ...Jake Pries Mrs. D English 3 29 January 2014 The south in the 1800’s became a messed up society because of the culture of slavery. The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn portrays a story about a young boy named Huck Finn who is trying to escape society. Huck and Jim go on an adventure for to be enlightened and for freedom. They both want t...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.