Mark Twain: A Racist or Abolitionist?

Topics: Mississippi River, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Slavery in the United States Pages: 3 (1099 words) Published: April 9, 2014
In the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, many would agree that the language and descriptions used by the Mr. Twain towards the African-American race, especially Jim, a slave, is crude and extremely racist. When Huckleberry Finn was published in 1844 many people believed in slavery still after the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation, by President Abraham Lincoln, over twenty years prior. Most southerners gave praise to Mark Twain for his novel and “supporting” racism, and many people from the north were concerned and perturbed by Mr. Twain’s writings because of the racist viewpoint of the narrator Huck. Mark Twain, contrary to popular belief and the viewpoint of Huckleberry Finn, was not a racist.

In Huckleberry Finn you can see at the start of the book Huck is being brought up and “civilized” by Widow Douglas and Ms. Watson, who are serving as his parents because of the passing of his mother and his abusive father. Huck is being taught that slavery is a natural part of life and is being encouraged to support slavery by his interim parents. Once Hucks’ father, Pap, enters into the plot of the novel it is easy to see his outlook on slavery, because he is constantly looking down on the black people, cursing and using disgraceful language to describe them. Huck follows suit to his old man because Pap is the only influence in his life. As Huck escapes from his fathers house and moves down river and crosses paths with Jim, the runaway slave, he think that God would want him to turn Jim in because it is the American and Christian thing to do. Huck passes over the idea because he does somewhat like Jim. All though Huck is racist and unkind toward Jim in the beginning of the book, Jim considers Huck a friend. If you dig further into the novel you can see Jim considers Huck a friend not only because Jim tells Huck he is Jims’ one and only friend, but by observing how Jim offers up his raft, food, and clothes to Huck, forgives Huck for touching the snakeskin...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay on Mark Twain a Racist?
  • Mark Twain: Racist or Not? Essay
  • Mark Twain Essay
  • Mark Twain Essay
  • Is Mark Twain a Racist? Essay
  • Mark Twain Essay
  • MArk TWain Essay
  • Mark Twain Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free