Smiley, an author of many books and magazine essays, writes her own criticism of Huckleberry Finn, “Say It Ain’t So, Huck”. Smiley has very strong arguments as she compares her own opinions and backs them up with Twain’s words from the book. Smiley argues that Twains real meaning behind the book is based off of racism. Twain never allows Jim to become a real human, as Jim will always be a slave whether he knows it or not. Although Huck and Jim end up creating a very strong relationship like brothers, Smiley believes that “Twain thinks that Hucks affection is a good enough reward for Jim” (Smiley 460). He would not ever get the treatment Huck did, and Jim’s character was never allowed to grow.
Hailed by (most) critics and language arts teachers alike, Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is a complex novel with several developed themes. What this book does bring to the table is a controversial literary device. “Backpedaling” which is the idea of deconstructing pre-existing ideas or character developments to highlight another. Full of intentional contradictions, Mark Twain uses his own hypocrisy and puts it into our protagonist, Huck to make him a realistic and, relatable character. This is done in several ways through the novel; It is done in the character’s moral development, within the setting itself with a variety of hypocritical ideologies, and in the oversimplification of characters
Despite the connotations that Adventures of Huckleberry Finn may have lost focus in its message of anti-racism, the novel still displays a thoughtful and engaging take on the status of racism through setting and character development. Though authors like Jane Smiley believe the book is overpraised because the characters are shallow and ignored, Twain’s subtle commentary on racism through the use of his characters helps to create a realistic understanding of the social conditions at the time.
Perhaps Huck’s most important statement in this passage is “Alright then, I’ll go to hell”; here he decides he’s willing to go to hell for eternity rather than causing Jim to return to his life as a slave. At first Huck just thought of Jim the property of another person, a good to be bought and sold regardless of any evidence that he was a human being. As they travel together, this viewpoint is gradually weakened by examples of Jim’s humanity, culminating in a model shift that goes against everything Huck has been taught about the societal status of a
In the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain it is a story of a troubled young boy and his good friend Jim. In the story Twain is not trying to portray racism toward the character Jim but rather is discouraging it. We see examples in the novel where Twain shows how Jim differs from other White men who cheat others, how he describes the white and black symbolism, and shows empathy for Jim. These three pieces of evidence thus prove how Twain is discouraging racism.
Thomas Jefferson once said “all men are created equal” Jefferson explains that all men are created equal, have the same equal rights and should not be control by anyone. The adventures of Huckleberry finn follows this as Twain shows us how the society treat people with different color and are controlled by them. This is challenging the society on how they treat people and should treat people the same even if they look different from them. This whole thing is telling us how people are careless and do not care about the environment they live in. This is to show how our society treat people with difference than themselves and how they do nothing to help the growth of the society. In the adventures of Huckleberry Finn Twain is challenging the social norms of slavery and racism in our society.
Authors of classic American literature often utilize a character’s development to establish a worldview or opinion. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby, Mark Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald use their narrators, Huck Finn and Nick Carraway, to suggest an argument about American society. Seeking adventure, both characters embark on a journey, but their encounters with society leave them appalled. While they each have personal motives for abandoning their past, both end up interacting with different cultures that lead them to a similar decision about society and their futures. Ultimately, they stray from the dominant culture in order to escape the influence of society. Therefore, Twain and Fitzgerald claim that American society
Jane Smiley argues that Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn suggests only “a recognition of the obvious -- that blacks, slave and free, are human” and therefore does not deserve to be shelved on the western canon nor taught in schools (Smiley). Contrary to Smiley’s statement, the story educates on many more morals and philosophies in addition to racism and depicts the protagonist Huck fighting against deeply rooted societal conventions at the time (and even in places today) that a black person amounts to less value than a white person. This novel deserves to be on the western canon as it is far more nuanced than Smiley suggests; Huck’s fighting societal prejudices, teaches people to defeat stereotypes and value people not
An issue of central importance in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is the controversial topic of racism. In chapter six, Twain manipulates his reader’s response to racism by controlling the speaker and surrounding circumstances of the bigoted statements in a way that pushes the reader to reject the racism because they have already rejected the speaker. In order to influence his readers, Twain utilizes the rhetorical devices of characterization and satire to show the immorality of the racist message.
Should one word define the future of an American classic? Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is one of the most controversial novels in America. This narrative regards a boy named Huckleberry Finn in the 1840’s United States, who runs away from home and travels down the Mississippi. Huck meets runaway slave, Jim who journeys with him on their many adventures. Many believe this meaningful piece of literature should be banned from the high school curriculum. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should stay in the high school curriculum because it is unprejudiced, historical, and important to literature.
Every person encompasses their own unique opinion. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck Finn possesses a conscience that makes him one of the most important and recognizable figures in American literature. However, Claudia Durst Johnson, a critic, believes that because of Huck’s actions the novel “is one of the most radical and darkly bitter books in the American canon. It represents the breaking of federal law as moral. It recommends disobedience and defiance on the part of young people.” This statement is disagreeable because although Huck does break the federal law as a moral, he does it for the right reasons. Therefore, making the great American classic not such a radical and darkly bitter book after all.
Living in the 1800s was a very confusing time for a thirteen-year-old American white boy named Huckleberry Finn. African people were faced with inhuman acts of slavery, prejudice, and discrimination. Choosing between what was right and wrong was a challenge, especially for Huckleberry Finn. Huck’s peers tried to corrupt him into believing that slavery was the norm and black people were to be shunned. Mrs. Watson, for example, was Huck’s adoptive mother whom consistently told Huck to not associate with people of the African culture. The Widow Douglas, Mrs. Watson’s sister, also worked on impairing Huck’s perception of slavery. Their idea of being “sivilized” was to support the enslavement of Africans. Mrs. Watson and Widow Douglas, as well as
In the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the reader gauges morality through the misadventures of Huck and Jim. Notably, Huck morally matures as his perspective on society evolves into a spectrum of right and wrong. Though he is still a child, his growth yields the previous notions of immaturity and innocence. Likewise, Mark Twain emphasizes compelling matters and issues in society, such as religion, racism, and greed. During the span of Huck’s journey, he evolves morally and ethically through his critique of societal normalities.
books written in the 19th century. The story tells of a friendship between a lowly white
In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain gives us an implied theme to ponder about. Three themes stand out farther than the rest – racism, money, and freedom. In the South, racism was extremely prominent as well as enslaving blacks. With the view of the setting and how it is portrayed, Twain makes this clear. The fact that Jim was enslaved and Huck and Tom had to rescue him proves this. In the beginning of the story, readers are told that Huck has obtained $6,000 for himself (which was a great amount during the 1800s), yet Jim has very little, if any. The divide between rich and poor hear are coherent and is a theme all throughout the story. Finally, obtaining liberation is the ultimate goal in the novel. It took Huck and Tom a very long time to try to break Jim free, but it was all worth it. We also see freedom when we look at the Mississippi River – it promotes freedom in the story. Twain put all of these elements together to illustrate how life actually is. Racism will occur (although it is terrible), nearly everyone wants money and the divide of the rich and the poor is common, and some people are still trying to achieve freedom from an individual or material in their