Stereotypes In Mark Twain's The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

Topics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ku Klux Klan, Racism, Stereotype, Mississippi River, American Civil War / Pages: 4 (938 words) / Published: Apr 27th, 2017
Out of all the vast and prolific writers of modern history, Mark Twain has been renowned as one of the greatest American authors of the country’s history. He is specifically credited with weaving many of his own experiences into his novels. In fact, by using the richness and vividness of his own memories, he truly assembled a universe in his mind that he could relay expertly with his words on paper. However, in his second book, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain does not only use the memories he has of the South, he uses the common stereotypes alive in the South. This is why, throughout the time that students and scholars have poured over Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, the book has come under harsh criticism and oftentimes been banned from …show more content…
The broad purpose of Mark Twain’s American classic is to inform. He wishes to demonstrate the intricacies of Southern life through the lens of his own experiences and perceptions. However, looking deeper with a more critical lens, exemplified with acute context of Mark Twain and the time in which he lived, an auxiliary purpose is revealed: the purpose to expose Southern hypocrisy, especially when it comes to racism. The purpose to criticize Southern complacency with racist movements, organizations and attitudes that actively harmed African Americans. The purpose to demonstrate that African Americans held just as much humanity, generosity, and intellect, and were just as deserving of common decency and rights, as their white counterparts. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written in 1885, about forty years after Huck and Jim go on adventures on the Mississippi River. The story takes place in the heart of the South in the years before the American Civil War when slavery was alive and integral to …show more content…
Jim is a runaway slave who, in the beginning of the novel, seems to sustain common stereotypes about African Americans. He is simple, superstitious, gullible and dull. His apparent dull and superstitious traits are particularly evident when Jim finds a hairball and says, “there was a spirit inside of it.” He also says that he can use it to tell the future. (Twain 17). Another example of Jim’s gullibility is when Tom and Huck convince him a witch bewitched him. (Twain 6). In 1885, this portrayal of an ex-slave would immediately comfort people because it fits the box they have created in their

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