Since many people have argued whether The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a racist book, others have counteracted that the author is trying to call attention to the matter, back in that time of history. Since Mark Twain wrote Huck Finn while growing up in the age that the book is set in, there are many matters that the author addressed that are close to his life experiences. I believe that Twain is merely making the issue of racism one to talk about and recognized. Twain wrote the book after the abolition of slavery, and the book is set in the civil war where slavery was legal in the south. The author wrote about how the white slaveholders would abuse their slaves mentally and physically while also, in the case of Jim, inhumanly rip him away from his family.

The story is also told through a young kids mind who is innocent to the world and sees things in a new way. We see Huck struggle with what society thinks is right, versus how Huck feels about racism and slavery throughout his encounters in the book. Even Tom Sawyer has his moments where he sticks up for someone of a different race and he feels appalled of how Jim would be treated. Tom stands up for Jim near the end of the book and sees Jim the same way Huck does by saying, “They hain’t no RIGHT to shut him up! SHOVE!—and don’t you lose a minute. Turn him loose! He ain’t no slave; he’s as free as any cretur that walks this earth!” (Twain Chapter 42).  Tom says that a slave is free and that he has rights to walk the earth like anyone else would no matter their skin color.

In the book, Twain makes a claim that there is no moral or plot to the book. How could there be no moral when it shows the progress a young kid makes with helping a slave be free when that is socially viewed as wrong? Is this actually a racist book with the ways people can read it?

Huck is most definitely a good person with the right type of morals. There’s growth in his character as the story moves on and he undergoes many incidences and events that help add depth to Huck. Although, if you think Huck has changed throughout the story, why would Mark Twain say that there is no plot or moral to the book? If there’s obvious progression in Huck’s character with helping a slave become free in racist communities, there would have to be good intentions to the character who decides they would go to hell for helping someone of a different race.


CC BY-SA 4.0 Racism aspects in Huckleberry Finn by Mary is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. Lauryn 2 years ago

    Hi Mary, This is a great I definitely think that Huck has grown from the beginning of the book and he has learned through his journey what wrong and right is. Huck really showed that he has good intention for what he is doing he may not have recieved good morals at a young age but he was truly able to gain them through his journey to freedom.I wouldn’t call this book racist because I think Twain used this book to help teach people a lesson about what it was like during slavery times. The story really shows how young kids even have the thought to help slaves gain freedom and also have a care to understand that slavery is not just. Huck was so young and he was able to cover up lies to help out his friend Jim even though Huck may have not had the easiest time but, I think he was able to do the best he could. If you lived in this time would you be brave enough to help a slave travel to freedom?

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