11 May 2017
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Race & Racism
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain contains many examples of racism.The main reason why the book contains many examples of racism is because the book was first published in 1870’s when African American did not have full equality and slavery were not abolished. There are two most important examples of racism shown in the book, which is “white” character calling “black” character a “N” word and the existence of slavery.
One of the examples shown is relationship between Huckleberry Finn and Jim. Huckleberry Finn is a young white male, in contrast Jim who is African American. The book describes Huck Finn as a better person than Jim. (In this sentence, the word better means being wealthier and having more power) There are many other characters that are wealthier and more powerful than Jim, I believe that the purpose was to show white man are above the black man. These white characters call black people a “N” word, which is very offensive to black people. The “N” word can be seen very often throughout the book, but the black people can not do anything about it. I would say that the “N” word is the most important example of racism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
The author, Mark Twain, published in 1860’s when slavery were not abolished. Jim, who is the main black character in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is a slave of Widow Douglas. Slaves were very common thing to see in the book, probably majority of the black people were slaves. The quote by Pap shows how he thought about black people being free and able to vote, “here was a free nigger there from Ohio—a mulatter, most as white as a white man. He had the whitest shirt on you ever see, too, and the shiniest hat; and there ain’t a man in that town that’s got as fine clothes as what he had; and he had a gold watch and chain, and a silver-headed cane—the awfulest old gray-headed nabob in the State. And what do you think? They said he was a p’fessor in a college, and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything. And that ain’t the wust. They said he could VOTE when he was at home. Well, that let me out. Thinks I, what is the country a-coming to? It was ‘lection day, and I was just about to go and vote myself if I warn’t too drunk to get there; but when they told me there was a State in this country where they’d let that nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I’ll never vote agin.” ( Twain 24). This quote spoke by Pap shows how much Pap was being racist against black people and it also shows Pap’s personality.