Huck Finn Not a Racist

Topics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain Pages: 2 (772 words) Published: October 27, 2005
Mark Twain's renowned novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is mentioned as an American classic, although some people may disagree. There are speculations that Twain's novel is a clear-cut example of literary racism and or that Twain was a racist himself. Throughout the nation, there have been book burning events which torch the American classic into embers of disapproval. In some ways this disapproval is justified by the contents of the novel. The portrayal of Jim as a superstitious, dumbfounded slave and the excessive use of the word "nigger" are the main arguments of racism against The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Needless to say, the purpose of Twain's novel was not to offend anyone or fuel the flames of racism, but it was written to change society by emphasizing on the acts of the white people.

The use of the word "nigger," when referring to Jim or any other slave is only meant to add realism. This racial slur is credited throughout the book, but Mark Twain did not intend on doing any harm. Its usage is a representation of how life was back in the pre-Civil War era and in this case, the word "nigger" was used common during that time. If Twain were to depict blacks in any other way, such as using the words Negro or African-American, the story would no longer be historically accurate or have a profound impact on the reader. Being the great writer as he was, Mark Twain dared to go down this path to display a richer dialogue and a more liable context.

Mark Twain's representation of the white characters as being sloth and selfish scoundrels indicates his views on the wrongfulness of society. The appearance of Pap Finn, the Duke and Dauphin represents the hypocrisy of white civilization, which displays blacks as being dim, sluggish and worthless, when they are the ones acting that way. Pap Finn appears in chapter V of the novel and his physical appearance is not too appealing. When Huck sees him, he describes his hair as being "tangled and...
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