Racism in the Adventure of Huckleberry Finn

Topics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Nigger, Mark Twain Pages: 6 (2002 words) Published: December 9, 2010
0 Introduction
Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful book that captures the heart of the reader in its brilliance and innocence.Despite many critics have attacked its racist perspective;the piece merely represents a reality that occurred during antebellum America,the setting of the novel.Twain’s literary devices in capturing the focal of excitement,adventure,and human sympathy is a wonderful novel that should be recognized,not for bigotry, but that it is the candid viewpoint of a boy that grew up in that era.And even then,the protagonist does overcome some social prejudices of slavery because he is concerned with the well-being of his runaway slave friend Jim.That the mockery of the slave race in the end allowed by Huck is more about fulfilling the awes of Huck towards Tom.The novel is a success because it does not fail to capture the one singular point of growing up for Huck:boyhood.

Mark Twain definitely characterizes the protagonist,the intelligent and sympathetic Huckleberry Finn,by the direct candid manner of writing as though through the actual voice of Huck.Every word,thought, and speech by Huck is so precise it reflects even the racism and black stereotypes typical of the era.And this has lead to many conflicting battles by various readers since the first print of the novel,though inspiring some.Says John H.Wallace,outraged by Twain’s constant use of the degrading and white supremacist word‘nigger’,"[The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is]the most grotesque example of racist trash ever written"(Mark Twain Journal by Thadious Davis,Fall 1984 and Spring 1985).Yet,again to counter that is a quote by the great American writer Ernest Hemingway,"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn…it’s the best book we’ve had…There has been nothing as good since"(The Green Hills of Africa [Scribner’s.1953]22).The controversy behind the novel has been and will always remain the crux of any readers is still truly racism.Twain surely does use the word‘nigger’often,both as a referral to the slave Jim and any African-American that Huck comes across and as the epitome of insult and inferiority.However,the reader must also not fail to recognize that this style of racism,this malicious treatment of African- Americans,this degrading attitude towards them is all stylized of the pre- Civil War tradition.Racism is only mentioned in the novel as an object of natural course and a precision to the actual views of the setting then. Huckleberry Finn still stands as a powerful portrayal of experience through the newfound eyes of an innocent boy.Huck only says and treats the African-American culture accordingly with the society that he was raised in.To say anything different would truly be out of place and setting of the era.Twain’s literary style in capturing the novel,Huck’s casual attitude and candid position,and Jim’s undoubted acceptance of the oppression by the names all signifies this.

The thesis has three chapters.Chapter one is introduction of the whole work.Chapter two give some information about the criticism literature.Chapter three give a deep look at the research about the racial problems in the book Huck Finn.Chapter four is the conclusion part. 1 Literature Review

Literary criticism is an attempt to evaluate and understand the creative writing,the literature of an author.Literature includes plays, essays,novels,poetry,and short stories.Literary criticism is a description,analysis,evaluation,or interpretation of a particular literary work or an author's writings as a whole.Literary criticism is usually expressed in the form of a critical essay.In-depth book reviews are also sometimes viewed as literary criticism.

Controversial in death as he was in life,Mark Twain has been seriously accused by some of being a"racist writer,"whose writing is offensive to black readers,perpetuates cheap slave-era stereotypes,and deserves no place on today's bookshelves.

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